News from your local MP - September 2021

September 02 2021

Recently, Bath and North East Somerset Council announced that proposals to help reduce car use and the impacts of car travel in the district will go out to public consultation alongside the Local Plan Partial Update.

The council has “declared climate and ecological emergencies with a target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030” and since transport accounts for 29% of B&NES’ carbon emissions, the council will seek to reduce vehicle mileage by 25% per person, shift to 76% ULEV and 14% hybrid vehicles and permit just 10% of vehicles to be powered by petrol and diesel. 

The draft Transport and Development Supplementary Planning Document, which if approved claims to help the environment via future changes to transport policies set out in the Local Plan Partial update, would be used by the council to assess development plans, proposals and requirements (where planning permission is sought). 

These initiatives, led by the Liberal Democrat cabinet, seem at last in part to be missing the point and contribute to the negative approach to green policies that seek to stop people doing things.  

However, as vehicles become cleaner there is no need to reduce car journeys. Cars, vans and lorries powered by electricity made from renewable sources or hydrogen are not polluting and it is sheer bossiness to stop people driving. The independence and convenience of driving is something politicians should welcome, with the focus on emissions, not mileage.  

Green policies will be successful if they lead to higher living standards and economic prosperity.  New technologies show that this is possible and preferable to the outdated, “hair shirt” environmentalism of the Adullamites.