Campaigners accuse ministers of ‘oiling the way for massive road building’ – thetimes.co.uk
Extinction Rebellion activists outside the DfTprotest against new road schemes
Ben Webster November 11 2021
The government secretly sought advice on how to minimise “the chilling effect on road-building” of the need to cut emissions the day before announcing its transport decarbonisation plan.
The request was revealed in documents obtained by campaigners bringing a new legal challenge to try to block 20 major road schemes.
They argue that the government’s £27 billion road building programme is inconsistent with the government’s transport decarbonisation plan because the new roads will increase traffic emissions and make people more dependent on cars.
The schemes include widening the A66 across the Pennines, the A1 in Northumberland, the A12 and A120 in Essex, the A417 between Gloucester and Cirencester, putting the A303 in a tunnel at Stonehenge, and a new crossing of the Thames between Kent and Essex.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, published a transport decarbonisation plan on July 14, which he said would deliver “a step change in the breadth and scale of our ambition to reduce transport’s GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions to reach net zero”.
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