Roddy Graham's Blog: 10 October 2007
10 October 2007
Roddy Graham is chairman of the ICFM and commercial director of Leasedrive Velo
So, Gordon Brown has really pulled the rabbit out of the hat this time by stealing the Tories thunder. As he is a Scotsman...
So, Gordon Brown has really pulled the rabbit out of the hat this time by stealing the Tories thunder. As he is a Scotsman, it should have come as no surprise to learn that he is as keen as everybody else to ensure family savings remain within the family and not be grabbed by Government in the form of that insidious Inheritance Tax. More power to his elbow, I could not agree more. And thanks to George Osborne for the original idea!
Following on from my attack last week on Malcolm Fendick, Department for Transport clean fuels advisor, on his position as being technology and fuel neutral, I'm also glad to learn Government isn't technology and fuel neutral!
The Chancellor of the Exchequer's Pre-Budget Report actually states that he will build on the package of measures announced in Budget 2007 by even extending the current duty incentive for biofuels to biobutanol on a pilot basis, with the aim of assessing its environmental benefits and performance as a transport fuel. It turns out that biofuels are in fact high on the agenda and Government will encourage their development. There is recognition within Government that biofuels have their place in the market and total net savings through their use are expected to result in total net carbon savings of around 2.6 tonnes of CO2 per year by 2010. More power to your elbow, Saab and other biofuel vehicle manufacturers!
Again, undermining Mr Fendick's stance of being technology and fuel neutral, the interim King report was published to coincide with Alastair Darling's Pre-Budget Report.
In it, Professor Julia King stated that by 2030 per kilometre emissions could be reduced by half through progress on fuels, new technologies and consumers moving towards lower emissions vehicles. On the technological front, she stated that almost complete decarbonisation of road vehicles is realistic through electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles. Again, that word technology!
In many ways, however, a more important announcement was made last week. The Crossrail project has finally been given the go-ahead. Crossrail promises to deliver a world-class, high frequency, accessible train service across the capital from 2017. It will run from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west through to Essex and Kent in the east, travelling underground through the capital between Paddington and east London. Crossrail claims it will deliver substantial economic benefits to the tune of £30 billion in London and the South-East, and across the UK.
Now for anybody who has tackled that route in either direction, it makes complete economic sense, not to mention helping lower stress levels.
I firmly believe that such projects are the way forward. However, on their own they cannot work as effectively as if they were combined with other initiatives. What we need is a properly thought out integrated transport policy combining the best of air, water, road and rail travel. That is what we are still waiting for from Government, be it red or blue in colour.