Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Redwood: We Must Build More Roads and Nuclear Plants

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Redwood: We Must Build More Roads and Nuclear Plants

Article excerpt


DAVID CAMERON'S "green" image came under fire today after his economicpolicy chief called for a massive roadbuilding programme, airport expansion andmore nuclear power stations.

Green groups and political opponents claimed the Tories' environmental policieswere in "confusion" after John Redwood said there was a need to overhaulBritain's infrastructure to boost business.

Mr Redwood rejected Labour claims that his plans, which include [pounds sterling]14 billion ofcuts in red tape, were a lurch to the Right.

"I have no wish for the Conservative party to lurch to the Right, or to lurchin any other direction," he said. "I voted for David Cameron to modernise theTories because I too wish to belong to a 21st-century party which thinks of thefuture, not the past." He claimed his competitiveness report, to be publishedon Friday, was not based on focus groups or "triangulation", Tony Blair'sfavoured means of trying to please all the voters all the time.

His transport and energy plans were attacked by Liberal Democrat economicsspokesman Vince Cable, who said they underlined the "intellectual and politicalconfusion" of Conservative environmental policies..

Mr Cameron supports public transport and taxes on flights to curb globalwarming, and called nuclear power a "last resort".

But Mr Redwood signalled that a Tory government should adopt policies that somegreen activists find anathema. "We would need to double the amount of motorwayin the UK to harmonise our length of good road with that in France or Germany,"he said.

"The UK is running out of road, train seats, reservoir capacity, flood defenceand airport space." The former Cabinet minister said "adding road space andbetter junctions to bust congestion allows many more vehicles to travel atoptimal speeds to cut emissions".

A party spokesman appeared to back away from some of Mr Redwood's morecontroversial ideas. …

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