Climate change protest hits the DfT


Climate change protesters have blocked roads close to the Department for Transport (DfT) headquarters and glued themselves to the building in central London.

The protest is part of what the Extinction Rebellion group says is a fortnight of non-violent direct action to draw attention to the ‘climate emergency’.

A badly parked van outside the Home Office added to traffic problems

On Tuesday afternoon the junction of Horseferry Road, where the DfT is located, and Marsham Street, site of the Home Office, was completely blocked by protestors. Police confirmed that protesters had earlier glued themselves to both buildings.

Among the group’s demands are to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025. Transport Network spoke to Lynette, who was handing out leaflets for the group at the junction, about what this would mean in transport terms.

She said: ‘One of the things the Welsh Government have is a commitment to invest in active travel, which is making it much more easy for people to be able to cycle and walk and not need to deal with cars – and to invest in rail and public transport buses and to make those forms of transport affordable.

‘If I want to go somewhere with my partner or a family, it’s still cheaper for me to drive, whereas if we can make public transport easy to access and easy to use, but also cheaper or as cheap that will be absolutely fantastic. It will be a really great first step.’

In terms of where she saw the UK Government policies as inadequate, she criticised HS2 and suggested that rural transport should be improved, particularly in terms of buses. She criticised the Government’s recent confirmation of new funding for roads, but praised the ‘joined-up’ transport system in London.

She argued that money should be switched from roads to making public transport affordable and suggested measures to deter car use, such an individual carbon allowance, which would allow people who need to make journeys, such as disabled or older people.

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