Fleet News

Car use still rising despite green Euro policies

A QUARTER of a century of European environmental policy has failed to stem the rise of car use throughout the Continent - and it will continue to rocket by a third in the next decade even if Government schemes such as road pricing are introduced, a report has revealed. The report, 'Environment in the European Union at the Turn of the Century', warns that only massive investment in alternative transport is likely to hold back the growth in car use.

This 'weather forecast' for Europe's environment from the European Environment Agency suggests it could be almost impossible for Britain to meet its Kyoto commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Across the EU, instead of a targeted 8% cut in greenhouse gases between 1990 and 2008–12, there is expected to be a 6% rise.

The report not only highlights the massive task facing governments wanting to cut car use, but also the folly of thinking drivers can be priced off the road through taxes and charging schemes when there is no viable alternative. It says: 'Transport is of great economic importance and the source of many environmental problems. Curbing this development and encouraging people to shift from cars to public transport could not be done without major investment in public transport systems.'

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