The COVID19 crisis has had tragic consequences for many, but one positive change that has been noted all around the world is the drop in air pollution due to huge reductions in transport use.
While Milan is making plans to take advantage of this situation to create a future that is less car-oriented, the Department for Transport here is preparing to unfurl 30 years’ worth of road building, likely to double UK car traffic by 2050. On 1 May 2019 UK MPs approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency and are aiming for zero emissions by 2050, how is this going to be achieved if we double the amount of cars on our roads?
On 11th March they published Road Investment Strategy 2 despite requests to rethink this scheme in accordance with the Paris Agreement. The government intends to spend £27.4billion on thousands of miles of road. Transport Action Network are taking the Department for Transport to court, backed by the legal team who successfully proved Heathrow expansion plans to be unlawful for environmental reasons in February. To do this, however, they need to raise £38000.
This is a difficult time financially, but if you are able to support the cause, donations would be warmly received here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-largest-ever-roads-programme/
Our nation’s transport emissions, 91% of which come from cars, have not really changed since 1990 and now constitute 28% of all UK emissions, for this reason, limiting road vehicle emissions should be a key part of our efforts to keep below a 1.5° rise in temperature. Furthermore, over 1/3 of existing motorways and trunk roads are already breaching air quality limits and this will only worsen as we see an increase in car use. Poor air quality can have dangerous long-term health and respiratory problems, an issue that feels particularly relevant during these times so, even if you are unable to donate, please consider sharing this cause far and wide.
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