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Transport

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:39 pm on 5th February 2020.

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Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Secretary of State for Transport 4:39 pm, 5th February 2020

I agree with my right hon. Friend on the importance of stopping those pinch points, where traffic just idles, pumps out all this CO2 and creates pollution. That clearly is not sensible, so we have a big programme in place; we are putting £28 billion into our roads. We will shortly be announcing more developments on our road investment strategy, RIS2, and getting rid of more of those pinch points. It is also important to get the traffic that runs on those roads to be greener and to get greener quicker, with electric and other forms of lower carbon and zero carbon production. I will talk a little more about that shortly, but I am clear that simply saying that we will not build any roads anywhere will increase pollution and the toxins in our atmosphere, not reduce them.

The targets have to be tough, and they have to be challenging. That will help to focus the minds not just of the consumer and business but of Government, and that is absolutely right. Targets also have to be viable and practical. That goes to the point made by my right hon. Friend John Redwood. It will not be easy to meet these goals if we simply try to do it by destroying industry along the way. That point is easily forgotten, but if we do forget it, we will not get the miracle that we have had of a 42% reduction in the amount of CO2 at the same time as a 73% increase in the size of the economy.