Daily Mail polls readers on nonexistent EU car ban

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:

Mail invents a question for a poll

Just appalling journalism.

11 thoughts on “Daily Mail polls readers on nonexistent EU car ban”

  1. Some of the comments shown on the istyosty link are appalling too. One commentor even acknowledges that the article is rubbish, but is happy for it to be printed anyway to make people angry about Europe…

  2. Ben – the cynic in me suspects that the Mail and the Express only ran the articles for that very reason, regardless of accuracy; to make folk angry about Europe. The journalistic equivalent of prodding a wasps’ nest with a big stick.

  3. “Just appalling journalism”. you’re being very kind! ..
    I still don’t understand why people actually buy the paper

  4. I must admit, I found this whole article for reason both The Telegraph and Mail probably didn’t really think about. The likelihood is that by 2050 most cars will not run on petrol because it will either have run out or will be too expensive. Ironically one of the messages on the Mail site suggested that if you had asked the same question 40 years ago about leaded petrol, you would have got a similar result.

    Anti-EU articles like this are a pathetic distraction. There is a lot wrong with the EU, I would rather people discuss the common fisheries and CAP, which are really a lot more important.

  5. (read this coment with heavy scarcsum)

    actuly concidering the “ban” was not proposed till 2050 anyway and by then if prices do not ajust we will not be able to aford petrol cars anyway it looks quite relestic to me

  6. The EU used to have a special webpage for lies made up by the British tabloids. I often used to wonder if any other member state had one.

    On there they linked to a story by the Star which said the EU were going to ban plasma screen TVs.

  7. The EU are trying to get out on a technicality regarding the term “blanket ban”. The fact is that the EU white paper on transport quite clearly states:

    “Halve the use of ‘conventionally-fuelled’ cars in urban transport by 2030; phase them out in cities by 2050; achieve essentially CO2-free city logistics in major urban centres by 2030”

    http://ec.europa.eu/transport/strategies/doc/2011_white_paper/white_paper_com(2011)_144_en.pdf

    How do you “phase out” regular cars in city centres by 2050 if not through a ban of some kind? It’s not possible. Without some sort of ban, conventionally-fuelled cars will always exist in city centres. Even the BBC came up with the obvious conclusion that this implies some kind of ban: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12879566

    But I suppose you lot think the BBC are raving mad Eurosceptic loonies.

  8. @ inyourhouse

    There is a big difference between ‘banning’ something and offering the tools to phase something out. As the EU make clear: they do not have the authority to ban cars from cities and they are leaving such decisions to each city to do as they see fit.

    The BBC have been very poor on reporting this as well.

    As for phasing out petrol / diesel cars: I think the rising cost of fuel will see to that.

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