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UK authorities slam EU ban plan
If the EU has its way, the only vehicles allowed in city centres will be battery powered.

British transport experts have slammed an EU proposal to ban conventionally-fuelled vehicles from city centres - and cut shipping emissions by 40 percent - by 2050. The plan also calls for a 40 percent reduction in carbon fuels in aviation and a 50 percent shift by both passengers and freight from road to rail and other modes of transportation for middle-distance journeys.

EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas reckons all that would cut overall carbon emissions by 60 percent; he also wants to road deaths in half by 2020 and hopes to "move close" to eliminating fatalities deaths by 2050.

However, things are a little different in the real world - especially that part of it that still flies the Union Jack.

UK transport minister Norman Baker feels the EU shouldn't have a say in cities' transport choices. "We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas," he said.

The Association of British Drivers was even more scathing. Spokesman Hugh Bladon said: "The plan is a crazy restriction on mobility. I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum.

"If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker," he added.

UK Independence Party's transport spokesman Christopher Monckton was more polite, although just as critical: "The EU must be living in an alternate reality, where they can spend trillions and ban people from their cars. This sort of greenwashing grandstanding adds nothing and merely highlights their grandiose ambitions."

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