The environmental lobby has suffered a setback as the UK rejected calls by the EU to ban all diesel and petroleum powered cars from city centrs by 2050.

The European Commision wanted to force out conventional vehicles from city centres allowing in only vehicles powered by electricity or hydrogen fuel cells.

EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas rejected the claim that they were trying to restrict mobility. ‘Freedom to travel is a basic right for our citizens. Curbing mobility is not an option. Nor is business as usual,’ he said.

’The widely-held belief that you need to cut mobility to fight climate change is simply not true. We can break the transport system's dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility.’

But the UK has poured cold water on the plans, with transport minister Norman Baker telling the EU to butt out of Britain’s affairs: ‘We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas,’ he said.

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2021