❝A short saying oft contains much wisdom.❞
Sophocles (496BC – 406BC)

Our growing selection of quotes on government transport policy, from both the  good guys  and the  bad guys .
 
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Selected Quote
 
“This is a bankrupt government of punishment freaks and tax junkies, who see the law-abiding paying public as a lumpen rabble to be persecuted and bled dry — none more so than the poor bloody motorist.
They long ago lost any sense of justice, common sense or proportion..”
Richard Littlejohn
Daily Mail
2008-03-31

 
Quotes pertaining to Government Transport Policy
“Labour's plans to tax and penalise car use are leading Britain into a former Soviet-style regime”
“Labour is using the car as a milch cow in a most dishonest way”
“The [Labour] Government's [anti-car] measures will take away what the car has given — mobility with freedom to travel as and when people please”
“Planned levies, tolls, charges, penalties and electronic speed cameras are, in reality, taxes. They are intended to raise revenue in addition to planned new and existing taxes on motoring”
“Road tolls are threatening disaster, cutting off areas of the country and towns, because it will become too expensive to transport goods... The impact threatens to be very serious...There will be no-go areas”
“Graduated vehicle excise duty ... poses a threat to Jaguar, Bentley, Rolls Royce and Land Rover. If a nation does not have a healthy home market for the cars it produces, it faces a serious situation. How can its economy prosper?”
“Graduated VED is very worrying. It will put the clock back”
“It would be wise of the Government to realise it is facing a tremendous public backlash to its next revenue raising attack on cars and road use. The outlook is alarming”
Professor Garel Rhys
Head of Automotive Economics
Cardiff Business School,
and Parliamentary Adviser on Trade and Industry;
commenting on Tony Blair's anti-car policies.
2000

“We need to get away from the idea that persecuting the motorist is the answer to our environmental problems”
William Hague MP, BBC Radio 4, 2000-11-07

“There are many reasons to shift away from fossil fuels, and we will do so in the next century without legislation, financial incentives, carbon-conservation programs, or the indeterminable yammering of fearmongers. So far as I know, nobody had to ban horse transport in the early twentieth century”
Michael Crichton, State of Fear
2004

“David Begg is a luddite if he thinks that bus travel is the be-all and end-all of everything.”
Mike Whitby
Leader of Birmingham City Council
Birmingham Post 2005-02-15

“Current planning policy guidance on new housing is tantamount to a war against cars, forcing us to provide insufficient car parking spaces on new developments. We cannot build double garages or even provide two parking spaces, an absurdity in the context of the two-car needs of most couples and families."
 
"It means builders are pushed into doing something which they know doesn't work, but nobody is listening. The consultation paper issued by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott on revisions to the PPG3 planning guidelines completely ignore the problem.”
Philip Davies
Chief Executive
Linden Homes
2005-03-01

“We recently built 46 apartments in the heart of Reading with 26 permitted parking spaces, and the first 26 to sell had their own spaces."
 
"Under the PPG3 planning guidance note, our customers are supposed to use buses and trai ns - but the transport infrastructure simply doesn't exist to satisfactory standards in most areas."
 
"In Milton Keynes, we are trying to sell a five-bedroomed house at £400,000-plus with single garage and one parking space - and this specific point makes it difficult to find a buyer. We wanted a double garage and two further spaces, but planners wouldn't hear of it.”
Nicholas Smith
Land, Planning and Design Director
Centex UK
2005-03-01

“... public opinion polls should not be the sole basis for political decision making ... the results are too dependent on the framing of the question ...”
Timo Seppala
Posiva Oy
in a debate at the Labour Party Conference
Brighton
2004-08-29

“For much too long received wisdom has been that roads are 'baddies' and railroads are 'buddies', I refuse to sign this absurdity. We must turn the tide of the European transport policy and let Europe free of its politically correct shackles. The dislike of the minority for cars must not blind us to act in a counterproductive way.”
Ari Vatanen MEP
2005-07-12

“It's one thing to have cameras to detect speeding motorists and those running red lights, but quite another having them looking inside cars and invading people's private space”
Alistair Darling
Transport Secretary
BBC
2006-03-08

“The government, however, is even more idiotic. It wants us to buy the car, pay the Vat, and the tax, and the tax on the Vat, and the tax on the Vat on the fuel in the tank. And then it wants us to leave it at home and go to work on the bus. We are being governed by window-lickers.”
Jeremy Clarkson
The Times
2006-03-19

“I suppose that I could go on jumping up and down in the same old rut about motorways, cones and the sad lot of the nation's abused majority, the motorists, but I suppose I've become infected by the classic phlegmatism of the British, and can't be bothered banging on, when I know that neither the Highways Authority nor the Government give a rattling damn, because they know that the 'silent majority' are not called that for nothing. It's minorities that change the world; if you belong to a minority, you're on the pig's back.”
Terry Wogan
Musn't Grumble
2007

“The Government is pushing us very hard. They are saying ‘you either follow our policy or you don`t get the money’. We are being, in inverted commas, blackmailed.”
Roger Jones
Chairman
Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority
The Times, 2007

“In the last hundred years the car has done more for human freedom, I venture to suggest, than the aeroplane, penicillin, the telephone and the contraceptive pill put together.”
Boris Johnson
Life in the Fast Lane
June 2007

“With this unintended act of open government, the disingenuous attitude of ministers towards public fears about a creeping surveillance state is revealed for all to see.
No wonder Douglas Alexander was keen to tone down these proposals since he must know that public resistance to a road-charging scheme will go through the roof if it is based on technology which poses a threat to personal privacy.
The Government appears to be using the London cameras as a Trojan Horse to secure unprecedented access to information on car drivers' movements without full public scrutiny or debate.”
Nick Clegg
Lib Dem Home Affairs Spokesman
Evening Standard 2007-07-18

“This is a bankrupt government of punishment freaks and tax junkies, who see the law-abiding paying public as a lumpen rabble to be persecuted and bled dry — none more so than the poor bloody motorist.
They long ago lost any sense of justice, common sense or proportion..”
Richard Littlejohn
Daily Mail
2008-03-31

“The last good idea to come from Britain was radar!.”
Assemblyman Michael Benjamin
New York City Council
Commenting on proposals to introduce congestion charging to New York City.
New York Post
2008-04-03

“Australia has become a nanny state, with ridiculous parking and speeding rules.”
Mark Webber
Reported by BBC News 2010-03-29

“Driving laws should be based on sound science, not the results of opinion polls that were, in any case, subject to the way questions were asked.”
Malcolm Heymer
ABD
Speaking to the House of Commons Transport Committee
2010-09-14

Quotes from the bad guys
“I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.”
Carl Sandburg (1878..1967), Incidentals (1907)

“All decision makers at the local, regional, national and European levels are urged to play their part in changing our culture of mobility”
'The Copenhagen Declaration'
made by 'Car-Free Cities' - the European Commission's anti-car committee
1996-05-08

“Car commuters are considered to be the lowest of the low”
Hugh Richards
Highways Agency
in a telephone call with an ABD member
August 1999

“My priority is to get people out of cars and on to public transport”
Charles Kennedy
Liberal Democrat Leader
in his book "The future of politics".

“New (transport) infrastructure needs to be seen as a last resort”
David Begg
now Chairman of the Commission for Integrated Transport.

“I hate cars. If I ever get any powers again I`d ban the lot.”
Ken Livingstone
Sunday Times
21 November 1999.

“Our aim is to brainwash a new generation”
George Callaghan
Schools Travel Plan Officer
Stockton On Tees Borough Council
speaking about 'educating' kids on how they should travel to school
2004-02-25

“I've lost faith in democracy. Just because the public don't like things doesn't mean they're wrong.”
An unnamed, arrogant (and illiterate) 'adviser' to Transport Secretary Alistair Darling commenting on public rejection of Congestion Charging in Edinburgh.
The Guardian 2005-02-23

“Sooner or later, whoever is in government, the tax system will have to be used much more boldly to help change the way we travel. That means substantially raising the cost of motoring and flying.”
Stephen Joseph
Director of Transport 2000
2005-03-16

“Those responsible for 7/7 got to Luton station by car.”
“for greater safety and the greater good of society, most people would be prepared to accept a slight reduction of our liberty”
Robert Gifford
PACTS
Guardian 2006-03-07

“SUV taxes and the extension of SUV-free areas are steps towards stricter limitations on private traffic.”
Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio
Italian Minister of the Environment
TCS Daily 2006-08-08

“Any survey which asks 'Do you support congestion charging' is bound to generate a negative response.”
Sir Howard Bernstein
Clerk to the GMPTA /
Manchester City Council Chief Executive
Lancashire Evening Post 2008-08-08

“We have a duty as laid down by Central government to discourage motorists and to encourage the use of public transport.”
Keith Wallace,
Team Manager,
Parking Infrastructure,
Community Services Department,
London Borough of Croydon.
In a letter about parking to our Local Co-ordinator for Croydon, January 2009.