Minority Thought has already covered the Daily Express story that claimed the EU was trying to ban all cars from cities – a story that turned out – unsurprisingly – to be absolute rubbish. As stated quite clearly by the European Commission in the UK:
Contrary to comments made by a government Minister today, the European Commission is not considering an EU level ban on cars in city centres by 2050. Cities are of course best placed to decide their own transport mix.
Today’s Transport White Paper acknowledges that many European cities are struggling with the challenges of congestion, noise pollution, traffic jams and so on. Something needs to be done and phasing out conventional combustion engines is a realistic objective. The role of the European level is to help the shift to alternative forms of transport take place, and make them more attractive to users.
No one city or even country can act alone to bring on stream the technologies needed to tackle the challenges of transport in Europe’s cities. That is where action at European level can help. But a blanket ban on conventional cars is not on the table.
Furthermore, Minority Thought discovered via Twitter that the Commission had actually sent a statement to a number of news desks to clarify that no such ban was being considered – without much hope that it would stop the predictable tabloid lies.
Naturally the Daily Mail has now waded in with their own story – the byline goes to the ‘Daily Mail Reporter’ as presumably the hack who wrote it was too embarrassed to claim it: ‘EU plans to ban all petrol and diesel cars from cities to force drivers to go “green” [istyosty.com link]’. The article starts:
The vast majority of British motorists will be outlaws in their own land under controversial new EU plans to ban petrol and diesel powered cars from cities.
The Daily Mail found no space to mention the truth, but did find time to get some quotes from the usual rent-a-quote loons:
Christopher Monckton, transport spokesman for the UK Independence Party’ said: “The proposals suggested by Commission take us into the realms of fantasy. They want to ban cars from cities, they want to force everybody onto rail and canals, it is if they have been taken over by the shade of the Victorian engineers.
‘They may as well call for an end to wars and large subsidised chocolate cakes for pre-school infants as to make these impossible self aggrandising statements”…
The eurosceptic think-tank Open Europe criticised the plan: ‘This goes to show the extent of the EU’s ambitions to interfere in the UK’s national affairs. Banning all petrol-fuelled cars in city centres is an absolutely crazy idea and one that could only have come from unaccountable bureaucrats in the European Commission.’
They also found time to poll their readers:
Just appalling journalism.