The government has no plan for decarbonising transport

There is much excitement in the transport sector, as the government has finally announced that they have published the long-awaited Transport Decarbonisation Plan. Social media is full of ministers with fancy videos claiming that they are doing something significant.

So I rushed to the Department for Transport section of gov.uk and read what they have published. And I’m afraid it will be a massive disappointment.

There is no plan to decarbonise transport.

The government has not published any new actions that it will be taking to decarbonise transport. There is no plan for modal shift, there is no plan for decarbonisation of individual polluting modes and sectors. The government have made no commitments and have no policies.

For all their talk, Grant Shapps and his ministers are doing nothing at all to decarbonise transport in the UK. It’s business as usual on the Department for Transport website.

Control your message

I am, of course, being tediously faux naive for an annoying rhetorical effect.

What the DfT have actually done is follow their established and predictable media strategy of putting out a press release, fancy social media and a statement saying they’ve published something, but conveniently neglected to actually publish it until sometime much later, hoping to saturate media with their selected talking points for long enough that the story is old news before anybody has the actual substance in their hands to read, report, scrutinise and respond to.

This kind of media strategy is insulting at the best of times.

At a time when people are desperate to hear some actual substance about how we’re going to get through the crisis we face, it deserves to be treated with the contempt that it shows us.

So please, when the DfT try to use you like this, if you’re going to run with it, at least tell it like it is. The government is all talk. It has no plan to decarbonise transport.

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