Motorists will be forced to drive at 20mph or less in Norwich as part of a radical shakeup of road policy announced yesterday , which includes opening a bus and cycle lane to lorries.Norwich will become the third city in the country, after Portsmouth and Aberdeen, to have a 20mph blanket limit after councillors agreed to the principle of a £300,000 sign-based scheme across 240km of residential roads… (READ ON)
Filling up the car is increasingly leaving motorists £50 out of pocket. With the price of basics such as the milk and bread rapidly on the rise and too many maxed out on credit, it can’t go on. But have Gordon Brown or Alistair Darling the wherewithal to do anything about it? Public affairs correspondent Shaun Lowthorpe reports… (READ ON)
Earlier this month, I gave a talk on Environmental Refugees to Epping Green Party. Here is a precis:
Darfur is the first climate-change war. And the first countries eliminated by climate change are, tragically, appearing now, in Micronesia.
Unless dangerous climate change is reined in, then you ain’t seen nothing yet. The 21st century, unless governments turn to Green policies, will be a century of unprecedented environmental disaster. There will be hundreds of millions of climate-change refugees, as powerful storms devastate poorer countries and rising sea levels simply inundate Bangladesh, Holland – and parts of East Anglia…
It is the carbon emissions from industrial countries, of which Britain is the oldest of all, which are causing this devastation. So: how will we choose to regard the likely tide of environmental refugees? Will we bar the door to them, just as the Daily Mail and others shamefully tried to prevent any Jewish migrants to this country in the 1930s? Or will our attitude be a humane one: will we welcome in and take care of those whose homes have been swept away by hightides caused by our own profligate burning of fossil fuels?
There are two great moral imperatives, in this connection, for the 21st century:
1) To plan to help the likely millions upon millions of environmental refugees.
2) To work now to prevent there being too huge a number of environmental refugees, by acting fast to defuse and to prevent catastrophic climate chaos.
23 May 2008 08:36
Controversial plans to allow HGV lorries to use a bus and cycle lane in Norwich have been given the green light. Despite a 500-name petition against the project, a trial scheme to allow 40 tonne HGVs to use the lane on Newmarket Road for 12 months was given the go ahead at a meeting of the Norwich Highways Agency Committee.
Four members of the 10-man committee were eligible to vote on the matter, and although two voted in favour and two against, committee chairman Tony Adams used his casting vote to approve the scheme.
The HGVs will now travel from the freight consolidation centre on the A11, down Newmarket Road and travel through Castle Meadow and Red Lion Street.
But critics of the plan said today it would put cyclists’ lives in danger as they will have to share road space with lorries travelling at 40mph.
Rupert Read, a member of the committee who voted against the scheme, said: “I’m very strongly moved by the arguments of the cyclists on this matter. I’m concerned it may result in more freight on the roads. It may be an incentive for people to move more freight into the city which they otherwise would not be moving at all.” … (read more)
The Norwich Greens are one group in a growing movement nationally of local Greens who work hard to turn radical and progressive ideas into a reality, and who bring a truly constructive attitude to local politics… (read more!)
Harriet Harman on this morning’s TODAY programme implied as much.
It would be a pathetic piece of populism, and a craven failure to be taking any serious green action whatsoever if, in a bid to restore its flagging support, Labour were now to freeze the planned fuel duty increase — without compensating for doing so by taking other measures.
My own view is that it would be fine to freeze or even to reduce fuel duty — SO LONG AS the government were introducing a serious green scheme to rein in Britain’s carbon emissions, such as ‘carbon rationing’, instead. Tragically, however, the government has just announced last week its abandonment of its investigation into the possible introduction of carbon rationing: http://www.carbonrationing.org.uk/fora/threads/defra-deems-personal-carbon-trading-an-interesting-concept-ahead-of-its-time
Meanwhile, Government Ministers intend to lobby OPEC to increase oil production to meet supply in order to bring fuel prices down – so the world gets more CO2 and less reason to save energy!