Roads-focused policy fuels UK’s ‘car addiction’, campaigners say | Transport | The Guardian
The government must stop building roads to satisfy growing “car addiction”, clean air campaigners have said, after three-quarters of transport projects announced by Liz Truss’s administration were road related.
In Kwasi Kwarteng’s doomed mini-budget, 87 out of 117 (74%) transport infrastructure projects listed in his “growth plan 2022” related to road upgrades.
…At the Tory party conference this week, Ben Houchen, the influential Conservative mayor of the Tees Valley, called for an end to the “villainisation” of car drivers and suggested that within 20 years we may not need trains and buses because of driverless cars.
Speaking at a fringe event hosted by Transport for the North (TfN) – a body set up to advocate primarily for public transport investment in the north of England – Houchen launched an impassioned defence of cars.
..Anne-Marie Trevelyan, began her speech by raving about all the roads being upgraded in the growth plan.
“The big thing we want to do and get cracking before the next general election is to really rocket-boost those key arterial roads and some of the train projects that we can do at a greater pace,” she said, adding: “It is those key big changes to road infrastructure which change the dial for those regions and that’s what this prime minister’s vision is all about.”
…In her speech at party conference, Truss laid into the Labour leader of Wales, Mark Drakeford, for “cancelling road-building projects and refusing to build the M4 relief road”. Roads came first in her list of building priorities: “We will build roads, rail, energy and broadband quicker,” she said.