30 June, 2023
Daily Express, by David Maddox
Research for a new grassroots organisation aimed at promoting economic growth has suggested that building more roads could reduce carbon emissions instead of increasing them.
The findings challenge claims made by extremist eco groups like Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil as well as other green groups who have sought to ban more roads being built or upgraded.
The policy of banning new roads has already been adopted by the Corbynista Welsh Labour Government led by First Minister Mark Drakeford.
According to Britain Remade, the actions of Mr Drakeford and demands of eco-protest groups blocking roads and disrupting events could actually be counterproductive in tackling climate change.
The research found that CO2 emissions from road transport increased by just 0.1 percent from the 370 miles of road built through the Department for Transport’s Road Investment Strategy 1 between 2015 and 2020.
This includes emissions from both building and maintaining the roads and the extra journeys that the new roads encourage.
The new analysis instead finds that carbon emissions from motorists are expected to plummet by 64 percent by 2050, compared to 2020 levels, as motorists make the switch from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric vehicles.
This is despite an expected 18 percent increase in total miles driven during the same time period.
The report argues that this will only happen if the Government continues to invest in upgrading Britain’s roads and makes sure the charging infrastructure required to help people make the switch to Electric Vehicles (EVs) is in place.
Sam Richards, founder and campaign director of Britain Remade, said: “Hard-working people across the country are suffering because our congested roads make it far too hard to get quickly and easily from A to B.
“This research proves that we do not need to listen to hairshirt eco-fanatics like Just Stop Oil or Extinction Rebellion, and make motorists’ lives worse by halting much-needed new road projects like bypasses, road-dualling and river crossings."
He went on: "Instead, politicians of all parties should be working flat out to make it easier for drivers to switch to clean electric vehicles.
“The best way to do this is by upgrading Britain’s roads and lining them with a plentiful supply of charging stations.
“Yes, we need to be investing in new railways, new trams and new cycle paths, but we also need to invest in roads, which is the way most people get to work.
“To get more and more people to switch to EVs, powered by clean secure domestic energy, we need to get spades in the ground right now and get building our clean roads.”
Anti-car activists have recently used lawfare to delay vital road projects such as A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet between Milton Keynes and Cambridge.
The lawsuit lodged by the Transport Action Network was thrown out entirely but still led to a year-long delay to the popular project. Plans to upgrade the A47 in Norfolk are currently in jeopardy, as the High Court considers a legal challenge from campaigners on climate grounds.
In February 2023 the Welsh Government announced that all major road-building projects would be scrapped over environmental concerns.