UK Government Proposes Car-Free Sundays To Cut Emissions

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Instead, Parliament proposes walking and cycling incentives.

Over in the UK, Parliament has proposed more stringent regulations to combat rising emissions and conserve fuel, reports Autocar, suggesting that large cities like London should have no cars on their roads on Sundays, among other things. A Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee report says the UK's transport networks must be more energy efficient to hit climate targets and reduce dependency on oil imports.

Many EU countries are arriving at the same conclusion after the conflict in Ukraine tightened up Russian oil supplies, especially in Germany. The 10-point plan proposed by the International Energy Agency (IEA) calls for a number of new policies in Britain - including a reduction in the UK's speed limits by around 6 mph and car-free Sundays in large cities.

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British Parliament

Suppose you're going to be extraordinarily British and take your Mini Cooper into London for some Sunday shopping. In that case, you must already pay a congestion fee dependent on a few factors we won't get into here. Imposing an outright ban is an entirely different idea that will likely draw plenty of criticism across the pond.

In compensation, the IEA's plan suggests public transport be made more affordable while simultaneously introducing incentives for city-goers to walk or cycle. By doing so, the IEA states more than 2.7 million gallons of oil could be saved. The IEA also took time to harp on the fact that demand for larger and less efficient vehicles is just as much a point of contention in the UK as it is here in the US.

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London Skyline

"For the UK to meet its successive carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act 2008 and the Paris Agreement, transport emissions must start coming down more rapidly," reads the report. In the UK, removing cars from its largest cities for a single day per week may be more feasible than it sounds.

Unlike America, the UK has a very well-developed public transport system of busses and trains that millions use every day, and cycling is very popular in large cities such as London. So long as the systems in these cities can handle increased load from those out of cars and into trains, the plan may work.

Enthusiasts may benefit as well. Without excessive numbers of cars headed needlessly to the city, surrounding roads will be free for those who are out just for the pleasure of driving.

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Source Credits: Autocar

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