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Predict And Arrive

I was recently challenged to produce a plan for building five million homes in over the next 50 years. My initial reaction was to react like the apocryphal bloke in deepest rural Ireland who, asked by a passing motorist the way to Limerick, replied that if he were going to Limerick, he wouldn-apos-t...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 20 November 2017

Affordability And Need

One of the big arguments put forward for the huge greenfield housing developments now being imposed by central government is that they would deliver so many homes they would lower house prices, and maybe even rents. The latest addition to this canon comes from the Royal Town Planning Institute which...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 08 November 2017

A Guide To The Greed Belt

A guide to green belts to address common misunderstandings is long overdue, but an organisation set up with the specific purpose of building more houses is not the body to provide it. In fact it is pretty much the worst possible author of such a publication. So I approached the Housing and Finance I...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 29 October 2017

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MPs voice transport sustainability concerns

Added on 01 September 2016

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has told the Department for Transport to assess the cumulative impact of its projects on sustainability and deal with its failure to hit decarbonisation targets, but evaded calling for a halt to major highway and airport expansion.

The Committee’s report Sustainability in the Department for Transport says the DfT needs to work on communicating its sustainability remit. A great deal of the report is dedicated to the so-called “ultra-low emission vehicles” and car manufacturers’ cheat devices, diluting the impact of its messages on carbon emissions.

“Committee on Climate Change advice on the lowest-cost pathway to the UK’s 2050 emissions reduction target included an interim 2025 decarbonisation objective, which the transport sector is projected to miss by almost 50%,” says the report. “Transport is now the largest emitting sector; emissions have increased for the past two years running. We recommend the Department set out in the Government’s forthcoming carbon reduction plan how it intends to deal with this shortfall in decarbonisation.”

The MPs, however, have little to say on how it might meet the very unambitious CCC target for transport which is a 31% reduction on 2014 emissions. But they do note energy use per tonne of road freight has actually increased and suggest domestic transport now accounts for 24% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and rising.

“The report shows that the Government is not doing enough to decarbonise transport and avoid building damaging infrastructure projects,” said Campaign for Better Transport sustainable transport campaigner Bridget Fox. “Stronger action to clean up polluting vehicles is welcome but ultimately the answer lies in reducing car dependency, getting more freight onto rail and investing in good quality public transport alternatives.”

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