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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington

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Post Office Closures Scuttle Government Plans to Cut Number of Short Car Journeys

March 6, 2008 12:53 PM

In an oral question to the Secretary of State for Transport on March 4th 2008, Tom Brake, the Liberal Democrat MP from Carshalton and Wallington, highlighted the lack of joined-up thinking between the Government?s Post Office closure programme and Government attempts to cut the number of short car journeys.

According to data supplied by the Department for Transport to the Liberal Democrats, over the last ten years, trips on foot have fallen 15% and trips by bike, 14%. Trips by local buses are also down 2%. On average, for every 11 minutes spent walking, people spend 38 minutes travelling by car.

Tom Brake MP asked the Secretary of State for Transport, in response to these falling percentages, ?How much further does she expect the number of such trips to fall as a result of the programme of 2,500 Post-Office closures? Has she been able to assess how many extra short car journeys will need to be made as a result of that closure programme??

In her reply, the Secretary of State had to admit that, ?Where the critical local infrastructure?the post office, the school, the local shops?is located matters enormously.?

Tom Brake said, ?It is clear that even the Secretary of State is having to acknowledge that, as well as making the lives of many senior citizens and people with mobility problems very difficult, Post Office closures will damage Government attempts to tempt people out of their cars.?