ASLEF: BANG GOES THE GOVERNMENT’S GREEN AGENDA!
ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has slammed the government’s decision to approve the use of longer lorries on Britain’s roads.
Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: ‘There goes this government’s green agenda! We need to move more goods – as well as more people – off Britain’s roads and onto electrified rail if we are to have any hope of hitting our CO2 targets.
‘To encourage the use of longer, heavier, lorries will only mean more emissions, more deadly particles in the air that we breathe, and more danger – with the six extra feet, deadly tail swing, and a bigger area at the rear end when the truck is turning – for pedestrians, cyclists, and people in cars. It will mean more accidents, more injuries, and more deaths on our roads.
‘The government – which always bends its knee to the road lobby – claims it will mean more goods can be transported by fewer vehicles. In fact it will mean the same number of heavy goods vehicles on our roads – just longer, heavier, and more dangerous HGVs.’
Mick added: ‘This is, I’m afraid, a regressive, rather than progressive, measure. A retrograde step. Rather than permitting longer, and more dangerous, lorries, the government should be encouraging more freight to move to rail which we all know is a more efficient, safer, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly alternative.
‘Each freight train removes 129 lorries from our roads. We need more freight hubs right across the country so we let the train take the strain for the long haul, and then switch the goods to shorter, and more modern, electric vehicles for the last few miles. That’s the sort of forward-thinking, integrated, green transport system we need for the 21st century.’
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