With the crisis in the Middle East and nuclear power now set to become politically unacceptable, rational governments across the world must be rethinking their energy policy. They could do worse than start with transport.
It is amazing how governments will never bite the bullet on this one. As petrol prices are soaring, rather than admitting that this is inevitable and people simply have to readjust to high fuel and energy prices, watch instead for motorist-friendly measures in the budget which, ultimately will be self-defeating. On the one hand ministers say this is a green government,while at the same time advocating measures which are not only far from being green, but actually people to travel more.
Of course shifting people onto environmentally more friendly modes has a role too. But here the quick gains can be made in urban transport where cars are completely out of place, and cause more problems than they solve. Yet, while the government ploughs on with developing plans for HS2, it is cutting back massively on subsidies for buses and while, to be fair, it has supported some tram schemes, Britain’s efforts in that regard are paltry compared to those of many European countries.The policy is about us consistent as the average performance of the referees at QPR!