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Fuel tax rise must be part of wider package for sustainable transport - Doughty

August 11, 2004 12:00 AM

Motorway road traffic congestionCommenting on today's Environmental Audit Committee report 'Budget 2004 and Energy', which calls for increases in fuel tax to be used to subsidise public transport and alternatives to conventional fuel, Sue Doughty MP, Liberal Democrat Member of the Committee, said:

"This cross-party report rightly makes it clear that the current system incentivises driving over public transport and more must be done to reverse this trend.

"It is clear that motorists want fairness and transparency in how we make sure that the cost of motoring to the environment is fully addressed.

"The Government has lost motorists' good will because it has failed to make fuel duty increases part of a comprehensive package of measures to move us towards sustainable transport use.

"Rather than just hitting motorists with higher taxes we are calling for greater opportunities for motorists to benefit from cleaner fuels through lower fuel duty and from low-emission vehicles through lower road tax.

"Any policies to encourage the move from the car to public transport must also address the anomaly that those in rural areas who have no choice but to use the car also pay the highest fuel prices.

"This report should now be the starting point for the open and honest debate our country needs on this issue."