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The Conservatives claim to want a green recovery—so why do their policies say otherwise?

The government has set aside £5bn in funding for cycling, walking, and buses. But this pales in comparison to recent pledges around road building

By Jennifer Johnson  

Research by the consultancy Transport for Quality of Life found that, even with a rapid transition to electric vehicles, the UK needs to reduce car mileage by at least 20 per cent by 2030 to meet climate targets. Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/PA Archive/PA Images

“Keep motorists happy” is essentially an unwritten rule of Conservative strategy. Since coming to power in 2010, the party has famously declined to end the protracted freeze on fuel duty it issued that year. The mere mention of doing so invariably sparks revolt from its own MPs. In March, 36 backbenchers wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak—who had then refused to rule out hiking the levy—to urge him not to “balance environmentalism on the backs of working people.”

Though for a moment this spring, it seemed as though the government’s commitment to cars and drivers would come into conflict…

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