Reacting to Reform Scotland’s “Pay as your drive – the road to a better future” Report which calls for current motoring taxes to be scrapped and replaced by a fairer pay-as-you-drive system, Emilia Hanna, air pollution campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“Simplifying the cost of motoring through a scheme like the pay-as-you-drive one proposed by Reform Scotland is certainly worth examining, although we would no doubt disagree with Reform Scotland over the levels pricing that motorists be charged. Any road pricing system must create a more level playing field between motoring, public transport, cycling and walking.

“Our current over-reliance on motoring causes air pollution, climate change, congestion and road crashes. It is clear that motoring taxes currently do not reflect the true human cost of driving. Ultimately, the cost of motoring needs to increase whether it is through motoring taxes or a pay-as-you-go system.

“Road traffic is a key contributor to air pollution, which is one of the biggest health problems facing Scotland. Each year, over 2000 people die early from the impacts of air pollution in Scotland. Thirteen Councils, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, have declared pollution zones where levels are so high they are breaking legal safe limits. If we are to protect people’s health, motorists must pay more. Councils must also encourage alternatives to traveling by car such as cycling, walking, and more affordable public transport.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. You can find out about FoE Scotland’s air pollution work here: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/air-pollution

2. Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk