The claim that a week is a long time in Politics is clearly very true when it comes to a key issue which will impact residents and visitors to Sussex. A week ago, last Wednesday these 11 Sussex MPs opposed the following Labour amendment calling on the “Government to develop and implement a plan to eliminate the substantial majority of transport emissions by 2030, to decarbonise the UK’s entire bus network, to invest in an electric vehicle charging network that can support the majority of vehicles on the UK’s roads by 2030, to cut bus and rail fares, to increase public transport patronage, to provide funding for cycling and walking, including investment in cycleways and grants for ebikes, to introduce a network of clean air zones to tackle illegal levels of air pollution, and to bring aviation emissions within the UK’s climate targets.”
Yesterday in the House of Commons Boris Johnson stood up and made a speech which appeared to cover the same territory with a little bit more incoherence. However the subject matter was the same and the question has to be why can the Government refuse to support the plans from the Labour Party and yet will support their own plans that are broadly the same? The following is some of the text from his speech:
“In the next few weeks this Government will be setting out more details of the transport revolution, because we all know the potential of transport to change people’s life and the life of their town or city. We know that efficient transport can clean the air and cut pollution and get cars off the road. We can simultaneously reach our ambition of net zero by 2050 and shorten people’s commute, giving them more time with their family, increase productivity and bring business and investment to left behind communities. That is why we are embarking now on a massive programme of investment in local transport, starting with a record-breaking £5 billion of new investment in buses and bicycles. That investment will mean bus passengers across the country seeing a dramatic improvement in their daily journeys, with more than 4,000 brand-new buses—zero-carbon, British-built buses………It is an investment that will also mean cyclists enjoying hundreds of miles of brand-new separated lanes, with “mini-Hollands” blooming like so many tulips in towns and cities right across the country.”
The question needs to be presented to these 11 MPs who voted against the Labour amendment last week and yet are now supporting Johnsons speech and we clearly need to thank Caroline Lucas, Peter Kyle and Lloyd Russell-Moyle for voting for the amendment which appears to have inspired Mr Johnson over the weekend!