Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Better Transport? Maybe...

It's interesting at a time when Gordon Brown is so weak that new, environmentally friendly transportation policies are being pushed so hard. Given this government's failings on the environment and in transport, we can only hope that they listen in the time they have left.

On the one hand we have a cable car being recommended by the Stockholm Environment Institute, University College London and the University of Wuppertal, in place of the much-derided and unwanted Thamesmead Bridge. It's a novel and worthy idea, getting neatly around the 'if you build it they will come' maxim. But of course the drawback is an existing need for some road link between the Blackwall and Dartford tunnels. Would this cut the demand for road users crossing the Thames?

The Sustainable Development Commission, chaired by Sir Jonathon Porritt, said there were big question marks over the environmental and economic arguments underpinning the proposals for British airport expansion.

Yet the government and the disgraceful BAA have already dismissed its findings; hardly surprising considering the report questions the entire economic and environmental rationale for a third runway. Is the solution to this though to get the aviation industry to 'pay its part in meeting environmental costs'? I don't think so.

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