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Engineers say Darling ‘not green enough’

Engineers and transport pressure groups this week criticised Chancellor Alistair Darling’s first budget for not being green enough despite claims it would be environmentally friendly.

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) slammed Darling for relying on road pricing and hard shoulder running as the only means of easing traffic congestion.

“The Eddington study [for former Prime Minister Tony Blair] recommended a sophisticated policy mix of better use, carbon and congestion pricing and targeted improvement and claimed there was a good case for more transport infrastructure,” said a CECA spokesman.

Consultant Arup was also critical.

“Overall, the measures introduced by the Chancellor aren’t going to have a huge environmental impact,” read a statement released by the consultant.

“We would like to see real commitment to reducing the Three C’s: Congestion, Cost-to-Business and Carbon Emissions. The lack of any mention of increasing public transport use was disappointing.”

BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

Zero vehicle excise for cleanest vehicles
2p Tax increase on fuel now delayed until October
2% reduction in corporation tax, to 28%
£30M cash set aside in ‘enthuse science’ fund
30% target for small and medium-sized businesses to win government contracts
£425 top-rate vehicle excise duty
£950 ‘showroom tax’ on worst gas guzzlers

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