Making a move to electric vehicle use is likely to result in the UK facing severe transport problems.
A new report from the IPPR think tank has concluded that vehicle emissions will fall, but we will continue to experience a growing traffic volume on our roads.
The report forecasts a 28% increase in car ownership by 2050, resulting in more traffic jams and more significant harm to the economy.
However, the government responded to the think tank by saying it has plans to make travel greener, and it is committed to offering access to a range of transport options.
In the report, the IPPR commented on the impending Transport Decarbonisation Strategy, saying this strategy needs to commit to peak car ownership by 2030.
They claim that, unless there is a shift in policy, car ownership is forecast to rise in line with a growing economy and larger population.
By failing to address these rising levels of car ownership, the IPPR says there will be adverse effects on health, resources, urban space, congestion and inequality.
Responding to the think tank, a spokesman for the Department for Transport said:
“This report completely ignores the wide range of plans to make our transport network greener than ever, which will be underlined in our upcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan.”
The government said they would invest £2 billion in active travel.
Luke Murphy, head of the IPPR Environmental Justice Commission, said:
“The imperative for urgent action [in cutting CO2] creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put in place a new approach to how we all travel.
“The government’s current preferred strategy places an overwhelming focus on the shift to electric vehicles. Such an approach will not deliver for people or planet.”
Edmund King, AA president, said:
“The electric vehicle revolution is the most significant development over the last half century to help reduce transport CO2 emissions and improve future air quality. Government, manufacturers and drivers should welcome this push towards electrification.
“In terms of journey patterns, individuals should choose the most relevant form of transport for specific journeys and this will of course include walking, cycling, e-mobility, public transport and indeed driving.
“One must question whether some of the aspirations in this report are affordable, achievable or desirable such as having public transport running seven days a week in rural areas and ensuring that everyone is within 20 minutes walking, cycling or public transport reach of amenities. Some rural areas will remain dependent on road and private transport as public transport will never cater for all their needs.”