Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Same Old Tories? Or ‘This is not America’ - Tory Pickles says that British “cities should continue to be built around the car”

Remember how Blue is the new Green? You know all that Oak Tree Logo-led Tory Renewal?

Not very flexible in wind incidentally oaks and subject to being struck by lightning...still:

Tory transport spokespeople may be trying to seem greener than Labour with their talk of new trainlines to replace new runways [as opposed to Barmy Boris' idea of an island airport off Kent to kill our dolphins but make Kew Gardens quieter...] but Eric Pickles, a man who has spent his whole career in politics making Coronation Street look modernist and innovatory by comparison, is not buying any of this socialist claptrap:

The prospect of congestion charging in cities outside London "does not have a rosy future" under a Tory government, shadow communities secretary Eric Pickles said this week.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Pickles said he hoped Greater Manchester residents would vote No in December’s referendum on the city-region’s Transport Innovation Fund (Tif) bid – which would see £3 billion of investment in public transport and the introduction of a peak time congestion charge.He said: I’ve not the slightest doubt [the Tif bid] will be rejected by the people of Manchester and that would be a good thing.

Only hours after transport secretary Theresa Villiers attempted to bolster the Conservative Party’s green credentials by announcing its support for high speed rail over an expansion of Heathrow – as well as signaling that under a Tory Government the Tif would be used in more flexible ways to encourage bus and bicycle use within cities - Pickles said cities should continue to be built around the car.

He said: Public transport can be a very good thing but the way people want to live is with a car. I think we should a way to make our cities pleasant places to be but they should be places built on consent, without Government forcing an anti-car agenda onto people. I don’t think congestion charging has a very rosy future at all.

GO ERIC - Vote Tory for a sustainable future ...NOT