Britain Mulls Bizarre War on Cars


  • 2013 Nissan Leaf Picture

    2013 Nissan Leaf Picture

    Only ultra-efficient hybrid and electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf would be acceptable on United Kingdom roads, according to a new plan. | August 13, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • All non-hybrid gasoline and diesel cars would be banned from roads in the United Kingdom by 2040, according to a draconian blueprint by the Liberal Democratic Party.
  • Electric vehicles would be acceptable under the plan, but millions upon millions of "conventional" vehicles would not.
  • Road pricing, in which a driver is charged for every journey, is also on the wish list of the Liberal Democrats.

LONDON — Call it a new war on the motorist.

If the United Kingdom's Liberal Democratic political party gets its way, only ultra-low-carbon vehicles will be allowed on the road by 2040, while millions of conventional gas and diesel-engined cars will summarily be outlawed.

The party's proposals, announced recently, call for only for ultra-efficient hybrid and electric vehicles to be allowed on roads here.

Their statement says: "By 2040, only ultra-low carbon vehicles will be permitted on U.K. roads for non-freight purposes. If technology permitted, we would bring forward this date."

Led by the colorful Nick Clegg, the small, left-leading Lib-Dem party is no stranger to controversial ideas.

But since it is part of the current coalition government in the U.K., that means its views carry more weight in the media than before. The Lib Dems, the junior party in a coalition government with the U.K. Conservatives, is due to vote on the proposal soon and it could become party policy if passed, although whether it would actually become law is another matter.

Exactly how the Lib Dems selected 2040 and what is to become of all the millions upon millions of conventional vehicles which apparently will be outlawed has not been made clear.

While the U.K. now has a vibrant vehicle manufacturing sector and classic car world, the U.K. also has a vociferous anti-car lobby and the draconian Lib Dem proposals will likely be music to their ears.

The Lib Dems have also refloated the idea of road pricing, in which you are monitored and charged for every journey you take, with rates based on vehicle emissions and distance traveled and time of day.

The previous Labor government came up with this particular Orwellian scheme, which was howled down at the time, but clearly has not gone away.

Edmunds says: Let's hope this heinous idea doesn't cross the pond.

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