12 May 2009 06:05:08
Public transport costs undermining green efforts in UK
Attempts to cut UK road emissions are being drastically undermined by the cost of public transport, new figures suggest.
Official statistics, published following a parliamentary question from the Liberal Democrat's transport secretary Norman Baker, indicate that motoring expenses have fallen by 13 percent in real terms since 1997.
During the same period, bus and coach prices have risen by 17 percent above inflation, while train fares have fallen by seven percent.
The findings will come as a blow to the UK government's ambitious emissions reduction targets because they suggest that falls in the cost of buying and running cars could have negated increases made to fuel duties in recent years.
Mr Baker claimed that they are proof not enough is being done to entice drivers out of their cars.
"These figures show starkly just what a raw deal train and bus passengers have had from this government," he said.
"While ministers are busy preaching about cutting carbon emissions, they have allowed polluting transport to become cheaper and cleaner transport to become more expensive."
The Liberal Democrats' transport policy calls for investment in a high speed rail network that will encourage people to get out of their cars and subsequently reduce emissions.http://www.libdems.org.uk/policies/transport