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Government slated over car free day

GREEN TRANSPORT groups this week accused the Government of running scared of the pro-car lobby after Britain failed to sign up to tomorrow's European car free day.

They vowed to press ahead with car free events despite the lack of Government backing.

Events include closing streets to cars and opening them up to community events.

European car free day is an annual event in which 700 cities across 23 European states take part.

Richard Evans, director of the Environmental Transport Association which is co-ordinating British participation, said at the launch: 'This is the only government in Europe not to have signed this charter. The feeling is that they still do not wish to be perceived as anti-car. But despite the lack of leadership from the Government we hope to show them what a success we are making of this event.'

A Department of the Environment Transport & the Regions spokesman hit back at criticism.

'We support the underlying aims of car free day, but our view is that the decision on whether to support it or not lies with local authorities, ' he said. 'We don't want to go over the heads of local authorities.'

Ten local authorities are taking part including Southwark, Lambeth, Camden, Sutton and Merton in London, plus Deal and Swale in Kent. Bath, Stoke-onTrent and Kingsbridge in Devon are also involved.

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