£2k to scrap your old car and promise not to buy a new one?

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£2k to scrap your old car and promise not to buy a new one?

Posted 10 March 2009 23:39 by martin

George Monbiot makes the point in today's Guardian that you really can't dress up the mooted car scrappage scheme in even the skimpiest green clothing.

Giving people £2k to trade in an old car for a new one with slightly better fuel ecomony ain't the best way of getting a carbon reduction bang for your buck.

What about giving people £2k to scrap their old car and promise not to buy a new one?  Might that work?  OK you wouldn't get the benefits of keeping car workers in a job, but then again, you'd be injecting money into the economy for people to spend on other things.

Or maybe you could trade your car for £2k of public transport vouchers?

Or the government could give extra money to local authorities to spend on sustainable transport schemes.

You'd then not only be getting a carbon and economic return (yes, sustainable transport initiatives employ thousands of people too), but also a health benefit.  Sustrans have calculated benefit:cost ratios for walking and cycling schemes of between 15:1 and 33:1 (much better than the average 3:1 of typical road and rail schemes), and much of this is because you're keeping people fit and saving the health service money.

But no, it looks as though a whole load of cash could be going towards propping up the car industry.  We need cars, but we need efficient ones.  Companies like Jaguar Land Rover have woefully miscalculated:  by making expensive and fuel inefficient cars they've completely failed to hedge against a downturn in people's spending power, against higher fuel prices, and against climate change constraints.

Surely any government subsidies in this area must favour initiatives that help the environment, help the economy and help keep people healthy.

Now, where have I seen one of them….?

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Comments

  1. wooozle says:

    March 13th, 2009 at 7:02 pm (#)

    Who's doing the timer estimates, 'Linford Christie' ?! Good route, horrible ugly streetmap and should have details of what one will come across, possibly a choice to see (satellite) pic of route too.

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