The Prime Minister will today announce in her party conference speech that fuel duty will continue to be frozen in this month’s Budget.
Greener Journeys has criticised the seven-year freeze, saying that this will have a damaging impact on air quality and public health in the UK, and lead to worsening congestion.
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said:
“Extending the freeze on fuel duty into an eighth year is a disastrous move which will have a severe impact on air pollution and public health in the UK. Roadside air pollution is causing up to 50,000 early deaths a year, and we know that cars and vans are the primary cause.
“We urgently need a shift away from car use and towards more sustainable public transport, but today’s decision will do the opposite. We urge the Government to show leadership and make the right decision.
“The past seven years of fuel duty freezes have already made the price of fuel at the pump 13% cheaper than it would otherwise be and resulted in up to 200 million fewer bus journeys over the same period.
“Greener Research shows that the Government’s continued freeze on fuel duty has caused there to be 4% more traffic and an additional 4.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and 12,000 tonnes of harmful NOx emissions, by encouraging people to abandon public transport in favour of their cars. It is the poorest in society who cannot afford a car who suffer the most from this policy.”
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About Greener Journeys: Greener Journeys is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices. It is a coalition of the UK’s leading public transport organizations, user groups and supporters. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from transport by encouraging people to switch some of their car journeys to bus or coach instead. Switching from car to bus for just one journey a month would mean one billion fewer car journeys on our roads and would save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year. For more information visit www.greenerjourneys.com