The latest by a group calling itself a think tank, and with the grand sounding title the Institute for Public Policy Research has produced a very costly report, funded by yet another charity The Rees Jeffreys Road Fund and written by a lawyer with no background in road safety or driving and prosecution at all.
The object of the report, by this ideologically green left of center group, is basically to tax people from their cars. 'The report focuses entirely on the negative aspects of driving'. says Keith Peat the founder of DU. 'It fails to mention that it's driving that keeps all sixty million of us alive. As we all know that people are living longer too and much of that is because of essential infrastructure such as driving, the report fails from page one. Without cars and their drivers society would collapse and we would die very soon after. Being dead is as unhealthy as it gets' Says Keith.
Whilst the report acknowledges the very high cost of family motoring it criticises what it terms unnecessary driving such as not walking to the local shop and suggests that these trips should attract higfher taxes. 'Having paid out all this money to keep society working, why shouldn't we use the vehicles for ourselves occasionally?
Paul Biggs BSc a specialist in environment and health, in response to some of the claims of the report says: 'Death and injury on the roads is falling, and in perspective death/injury in the home is a much bigger problem.
That more children are passing more exams with higher grades year on year isn't evidence for them becoming less intelligent due to pollution! as this report claims and people are living longer and air cleaner than at any time since the industrial revolution. We have just had to raise the age of pensioners.' He points out and continues, 'Any negatives, real or imagined, are far outweighed by the benefits of motorised transport and better roads.
With regard to noise, what about noise syndromes from wind turbines airport flight paths and noise and vibration from railways near homes?
Obesity is more about poor diet, sedentary computer games and TV and less ouside activity' Says Paul. 'There are many safe ways to get healthy exercise but tipping kiddies into the road doesn't sound very healthy to me'.
'This report is suggesting draconian measures against the private car and yet is flawed from begiining to end' says DU.
Keith Peat says 'What is very sinister about this is that the report advises that there should be no referendum, that, on a divide and rule basis, taxation schemes should be run and adopted locally, any surveys and polls should be primed with loaded propositions and then anyone opposing such steps 'should be accused of wilful fiscal irresponsibility ignoring the plight of the squeezed middle class and the poor....'
'There are far too many of these green anti road transport charities with no expertise all feeding each other. Not only are we funding them directly and indirectly, but their attacks on essential road infrastructure and driving is resulting in highly flawed and dangerous road safety policy. We now have evidence that sympathetic green civil servants are aiding the anti driver groups and we should all find that extremely worrying'. says DU