The Government is toying with the idea of raising taxes on air travel and high-polluting cars in an attempt to remedy the UK’s spiraling greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the 70pmh speed limit on Britain’s motorways could be slashed or more strictly enforced in order to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide given off by cars.
But what does this mean for Britain’s motorists? Obviously, the cost of driving would increase substantially, with yet another hike in petrol prices, and owners of large, gas-guzzling cars will be hit especially hard with a massive rise in road tax on such vehicles.
Public Transport The Solution To Emissions?
Clearly the Government is trying to steer people towards public transport or for those that must travel by car, into purchasing smaller vehicles with lower fuel consumption and emissions.
These changes would not only have an impact upon the Governments battle with climate change, but would go a long way to lowering congestion on Britain’s roads. The cost of travelling by car will be too much for many, and the lowered speed limits may make the train network a more desirable option for those short on time.
You can’t argue with the motive behind these changes, something must be done to combat climate change sooner rather than later. But my major issue with the new plans are the way in which they will undoubtedly do much more harm less financially secure motorists.
Rich Poor Divide
The wealthy businessman, in his state-of-the-art Jaguar or Range Rover will continue as ever before, the inflated costs a drop in the ocean to him. Meanwhile, the hard-up commuter will be forced onto public transport whether he likes it or not.
For me, this is going to create yet another divide between the rich and the poor in Britain. I use my car on a regular basis for both work and play. Each year, I clock up thousands of motorway miles simply because its much easier than travelling by train or coach.
To use public transport in my case would be a nightmare, virtually impossible. But can I afford to pay up to £2,000 a year in road tax, on top of increased fuel prices and expensive insurance? Quite simply, I cannot.
A Financial Shake Up
The Government have to act on climate change, Im not debating that. However, I am not at all convinced that hitting motorists quite so hard in the pocket is the right way to go. With house prices at an all time high, the cost of living is simply proving too high for many. I fear that this financial shake up may well go some way to solving the environmental issues we face, but at the same time could all but destroy the economy.
The powers that be need to think very, very carefully about what they are doing before running headstrong into any major decisions.