Following meetings with States Deputies and the Environment Department, the Guernsey Motor Trades Association has written to all Deputies prior to next Wednesday’s debate on the new Transport Strategy, urging them to reject the Majority and Minority Reports which have been put forward by two sections of the Environment Department.
The GMTA believes neither of these Reports will deliver the intended aim of reducing reliance on the motor vehicle and for greater consideration to be given by the public to using alternative transport methods – cycling, walking, use of buses or taxis.
The GMTA believes the suggested introduction of an emission charge on new vehicles only will penalise those who are buying new or imported used cars for the first time, which points to it actually being a ‘registration’ tax. In addition, this will only reflect the emissions the vehicle produces at the point of registration, not during its life which, if it is not properly maintained, will increase, resulting in an ageing population of higher emission vehicles on the island.
However, the GMTA agrees with the amendment made by David Inglis proposing the introduction of a safety check, which it believes is essential for the safety of vehicle passengers and road users.
President, Dave Beausire, said, ‘We are in favour of a full emission tax and safety charge annually, which would go hand in hand. This would reduce the number of vehicles on Guernsey’s roads as people would be driving safer, more fuel efficient vehicles.’
The GMTA believes the width charge should be withdrawn. This charge will have an inflationary impact on freight, taxis and buses and affect the less well off members of society by increasing the price of goods on the shelf. Vehicle design has changed over recent years and with safety a primary concern and increasing regulation regarding protection for all road users, cars are not built for Guernsey. The introduction of crumple zones, impact bars and airbags, has seen an increase in the width of even the smallest car. The GMTA feels that the width charge will actively discourage people from buying more modern, safer vehicles.
Continued Dave Beausire, ‘If the discussions we have had with the Environment Department in recent weeks had been conducted 18 months ago, rather than taking place at a short meeting recently on the basics, the Department as a whole would have had more detailed information to work with prior to bringing both these strategies to the States.’
‘We would encourage people to contact their Deputy before Wednesday’s debate if they would like them to reject these proposals.’