EU Aims to Completely Remove Fuel-Driven Cars From European Cities

The EU Commission published a transportation plan today that may radically change how Europeans get around in the future, the Independent reports. Included in the proposal, which seeks to cut carbon emissions by 60 percent, is a plan to remove all conventionally fueled cars from European cities by 2050. Thanks, Europe! Talk about taking one for the team. Now us Americans can continue to drive those three blocks to Hardee's guilt-free!

There are other provisions, but the car ban is obviously making the most waves. Taking people's automobiles away feels like more of an affront to personal freedom than, say, switching 40 percent of commercial airliners to low-carbon fuels. Christopher Monckton of the UK Independence Party has a very strong and British distaste for the EU's plan:

"They want to ban cars from cities, they want to force everybody on to rail and canals -- it is as if they have been taken over by the shade of the Victorian engineers.

Of course they also want to "move close to zero fatalities in road transport" -- and of course if they ban vehicles they may go some way to achieve this - but at what cost to liberty and freedom?

They may as well call for an end to wars and large subsidised chocolate cakes for pre-school infants."

Hold on a second. Pre-schoolers get subsidized cakes?

EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas likes the plan, probably because he is the head of the office that wrote it and is a total homer:

"Curbing mobility is not an option; neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system's dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win-win...That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres."

To which Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the Association of British Drivers, responded, "I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum."

If it's the local asylum, it'll be a pain to get there, as Kallas' plan calls for "a 50 percent shift of medium distance inter-city passenger and freight journeys from road to rail and waterborne transport."

We're all for this plan, as we don't own a car, don't live in Europe, and plan on being cryogenically frozen in 2050 in order for scientists to find the cure for our ailment (wound from when our butler shot us during an orgy).

Good luck with this, Europe, just don't ask us for any rides.

Radical EU transport plan unveiled [Independent]

[ngreene@villagevoice.com / @nickgreene]

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