Kent Green Party welcomes the proposed charging of foreign heavy goods vehicles likely to start in 2013(1). Steve Dawe comments:
“Kent Green Party welcomes Government proposals to start charging foreign heavy goods vehicles and has participated in the Department for Transport consultation. Kent Greens have been promoting the idea of charging foreign heavy goods vehicles passing through Kent since 1996. About 10,000 foreign lorries pass through Kent each day, contributing to traffic congestion, air pollution and parking problems throughout the County, although especially near Dover which handles about half of the UK’s physical trade.
“Although the Government is planning to charge the maximum amount per lorry permitted under EU law, this measure will only be a first step towards reducing long-distance lorry freight. Far more freight should be moving by rail, river, canal and short-distance shipping. If this is not done, then the increases of 7-8% a year in foreign lorries crossing Kent will combine with our rising population and increasing car traffic into a ‘perfect storm’ of traffic congestion, noise and air pollution.
“The Government should allocate all revenue obtained from charging foreign lorries to Kent. This should be used for upgrading cycle and walking routes into networks, upgrading bus services and addressing the massive backlog of road and pavement repairs in Kent and Medway.”
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe, Press Officer of Kent Green Party, on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe and published by Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. Monthly free ezine KENT GREEN NEWS available for subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org
1. The Government is just closing (16th April) a consultation on the charging of foreign heavy goods vehicles, something long permitted under the Eurovignette arrangements in continental Europe. Consultation at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-03