Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1049/29338

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 July 2019

Coventry says no to congestion charge

Campaigning against the congestion charge in Coventry, June 2019, photo by Coventry Socialist Party

Campaigning against the congestion charge in Coventry, June 2019, photo by Coventry Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Nellist, Coventry Socialist Party

Coventry's Labour council has spent two years drawing up a plan to tackle nitrogen dioxide hotspots in two parts of the city.

This plan includes laudable attempts to promote the use of electric vehicles and create more cycle routes, but less-welcome traffic-management proposals to redirect vehicles through side streets to reduce concentrations on main roads. Overall the cost would be 83 million.

The government, however, rejected the scheme and instructed the council to bring in a chargeable 'clean air zone' - a congestion charge - instead. This would be at the highest level, class D, and could charge cars up to 12.50 a day.

52,000 people work in the proposed zone, which also covers 80,000 residents in some of the poorest parts of the city. The council admits the charge would "disproportionately fall on disadvantaged social groups that have non-compliant vehicles and for who affordability is an issue."

In other words, it's a tax on those who can't afford new, cleaner cars! We are being punished by taxation when what is really needed is a serious attempt to improve the environment through public investment and better public transport, which could more quickly reduce people's reliance on older vehicles.

Deteriorating air quality from vehicle emissions of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter is causing 40,000 premature deaths a year, according to the Royal College of Physicians. Associated carbon dioxide emissions worsen climate change.

Everyone agrees with the urgent need to tackle these problems. The question is how quickly can that be achieved, and who should pay?

The government has identified 22 cities where nitrogen dioxide emissions from traffic will exceed legal limits by 2020 and has instructed local councils to come up with plans to combat the problem. Many involve charges.

So, not for the first time, the Tories are talking green while dumping the responsibility onto local councils and the cost onto ordinary working people.

Coventry Socialist Party has started a petition against the scheme which has over 6,500 signatures. The petition opposes government imposition of a congestion charge in Coventry.

We call instead for determined action to improve air quality, protect people's health and tackle climate change. The best solution would be free public transport in the city, using environmentally friendly vehicles, with proper public investment and planning of rail and bus services in the public interest not for private profit.

There are 120 cities around the world with free public transport - joined a few weeks ago by Luxembourg. If the government is serious about this being a national problem, let's have a national strategy, not punishment for those who struggle to afford change. For example, nationalisation of Ford's Bridgend engine plant could develop it into a centre of excellence for clean vehicles.

The Labour council says it's against a charge, but in June it accepted 4.5 million from the Tory government to begin preparations.

Labour says if the charge comes in it would be at a lower rate of 8 a day. But buried in its documents it admits that over ten years the cost to residents and workers would be 147 million - in costs of upgrading, and charges paid. That's just under 15 million a year!

The council has conducted no serious public consultation. It's almost as if they hope this will slip through unnoticed.

Over the next few weeks Socialist Party members will be out on public stalls, organising leafleting of the affected area, and visiting trade unions and community organisations. We will build support for a socialist alternative to pollution based on clean, cheap and frequent public transport, and public investment into clean vehicles to make them affordable to all.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 3 July 2019:


Workplace news

Angry Usdaw members strike at Sainsbury's distribution centre over sick pay cut

Sick of your boss? Join a union! Fight for socialism

Construction workers protest in defence of union rights and against anti-worker EU

Socialists in PCS union launch new group to fight general secretary election

Steps forward and missed opportunities at Unite rules conference

London Arriva bus drivers vote for strike action over bullying and workload

Birmingham school strike for safe working environment

Lancashire Stagecoach drivers continue their fight

Birmingham uni workers strike against terms and conditions attacks


What we think

Sinister moves against Corbyn can be beaten by clear socialist policies


News

Same old millionaire Tories - Fight to kick them out

Nationalisation is answer to Southern Water cover up

Gig-economy exploitation doubles

Even social-care bosses say cuts have gone too far

Them & Us

What we saw


Stonewall riots

Stonewall riots' legacy shows need for socialist struggle to win LGBT+ liberation


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist Party secures new offices

Angry Barking residents protest outside sales office

Tamil Solidarity Day: Linking up oppressed people's struggles

Coventry says no to congestion charge

Carlisle Labour/Lib Dem coalition cuts care home beds

Sell the Socialist and take out an e-subscription

Lincoln Uni NUS disaffiliation: a question of on-campus democracy

Stourbridge: Keep our college!


International socialist news and analysis

New opportunity to build working-class fightback after voters punish Erdogan

Irish health workers' anger boils over into strike action


Opinion

The Socialist inbox

TV: Years and Years - Engaging family drama pushes confused, reactionary message


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 July 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Coventry:

triangleCoventry: 100 pack meeting against congestion charge

triangleKnife and gun crime a product of poverty and austerity

triangleThe significance of the anti-poll tax movement

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party: "I was searching for an alternative to this system"

Transport:

triangleHackney SEND transport workers achieve victory

triangleDrivers and passenger assistants employed by Hackney council in the Special Education Needs Service have won a victory - click here for info.

triangleUnions must fight to make bus drivers and passengers safe

Government:

triangleUprising in Ecuador forces government climbdown

triangleWales: Hundreds march to save the Orb works

triangleCatalonia independence movement two years on

Council:

triangleTony Mulhearn 1939-2019: Courageous fighter for the working class and socialism

triangleLincolnshire health visitors strike

Public transport:

triangleVictory for Stagecoach bus strikers!

Climate change:

triangleTrade unionists discuss climate change

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/10/19

Postal workers

Massive vote for strike action: - "We're out to win!"

16/10/19

PCS

General secretary election: Marion Lloyd - standing for action on members' pay, jobs, pensions and more

16/10/19

Socialist Party

Be part of the future: join the Socialist Party

16/10/19

Waltham Forest

Mass union mobilisation needed to counter anti-choice group

16/10/19

Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance

Pressure needed to force secret police disclosure

16/10/19

Climate change

Trade unionists discuss climate change

16/10/19

National Education Union

NEU support staff dismiss Tory 'extra funding' hype

16/10/19

Hackney

Hackney SEND transport workers achieve victory

16/10/19

RMT

RMT: Jared Wood - Fighting cuts, defending jobs, pay and conditions

16/10/19

Wales

Wales: Hundreds march to save the Orb works

15/10/19

Derbyshire

Flooring workers strike, Derbyshire

9/10/19

Caerphilly

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

9/10/19

PCS

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

9/10/19

York

York freshers success

9/10/19

Leeds

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999