Adventures in Ethical Consumerism

Friday, February 25, 2005

Pollution, congestion and the council's latest plans

Looking at the website of No Tolls (National Alliance Against Tolls), I realise how one-sided I've been in my comments about the transport referendum.

I had already done a little checking to see what the opponents to the scheme were saying, but I have to say I found it all pretty ridiculous.

On the No Tolls site I just read this:

'[I]f the council "do nothing" they estimate that due to cleaner vehicles by 2010 there will be a 40% reduction in emissions of Nitrogen Dioxide and 60% reduction in Particulates.'

It's a good point. We already starting to see cleaner vehicles on the roads and we're likely to see a lot more. This is only addressing pollution, though.

We are also seeing more smaller vehicles being used, but they aren't likely to have a major impact on congestion levels in the long term. Neither is car sharing, it seems.

Now, Edinburgh Council have announced that they may have to ban cars in some of the city's main streets in order to meet mandatory EU nitrogen dioxide targets by 2010. That may not be necessary if the cleaner cars prediction is right, but still we need to consider congestion.

I understand that drivers don't want to pay added charges of up to £500 per year (as No Tolls points out) for traveling into Edinburgh, But I don't know what other solutions there are on the table. We know congestion is going to get worse, and it's already bad enough.


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