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Birmingham congestion charging subterfuge

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Birmingham City Council is ‘considering congestion charging as part of a range of options to tackle poor air quality from toxic surface transport emissions’, Transport Network reported.

Diesel buses are a major pollution problem in Birmingham

[“Birmingham reveals congestion charging ‘a possibility'”, Dom Browne, 07 August 2014]

A Birmingham City Council spokesman told Transport Network congestion charging was ‘a possibility’ in terms of tackling Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) – linked to asthma and heart conditions – but was one of a range of options, which could also include the promotion of low emissions vehicles, and no decision would be made until the appropriate data had been captured.

[…] In a press statement Birmingham City Council said: ‘Birmingham acknowledges that certain areas of the city exceed the air quality limit value for nitrogen dioxide. This is an ongoing state of affairs. The primary source is emissions from road traffic with diesel vehicles providing the greatest contribution.

As Birmingham city council admit, the air quality problem is largely caused by diesel powered vehicles. Which, of course, includes the diesel buses that make up the city’s entire road public transport fleet, and diesel cars, which, amazingly, Labour and Conservative governments have been encouraging people to buy.

So, if the polluter-pays principle were applied, there would be a pollution tax imposed on diesel public transport, and on diesel cars. But the council is not looking at a pollution charge; it is looking at a ‘congestion charge’. The likely aim would surely be to raise funds for boondoggle schemes such as the HS2 / Curzon development, and a £500 million tramway to the airport. Because of embedded construction pollution, on a passenger-km basis, Centro’s airport Midland Metro would be the #1 polluting infrastructure project in central England.


Written by beleben

August 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm

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