Responding to the latest news of a decline in the road haulage industry, the Green Party has said Britain must change direction to create more jobs in a lower-carbon economy.
Adrian Ramsay, Green Party deputy leader, said:
"While the Green Party sympathises with individuals made redundant, we need to be moving jobs away from high-polluting sectors into low-carbon sectors. Restoring business-as-usual after the recession just isn't compatible with tackling climate change, and we need to tackle climate change to protect the long-term future of the economy.
"We need investment in rail freight alongside massive investment in public transport - so as far as drivers are concerned we should be creating more jobs for train, tram and bus drivers, not more jobs for truck drivers.
"The Green Party is arguing that we need to put the economy on something like a war footing to tackle both the recession and the climate crisis in one go. The government needs to invest in re-training as well as in job-creation, and we can create huge numbers of jobs not just in transport but in the green energy sector (including manufacturing), in energy-saving industries, in green waste management, and various other sectors.
"In fact if all the policies in our Euro-election manifesto were implemented we'd quickly create over a million jobs."
According to BBC reports, figures to be released today are expected to show a dramatic fall in the number of heavy goods vehicles on the UK's roads - a drop of 7% In the last quarter of 2008 compared with the same period in 2007 - and early 2009 could see steeper falls, says the Department for Transport.
The BBC says the company Trafficmaster has recorded 18 consecutive months of decreases in average congestion on motorways and major roads across
England, compared with an average increase in every month between 2003 and mid-2007.
The Greens pointed out that reducing road traffic will have a number of economic benefits. These will include:
A taxpayer saving in road maintenance costs.
A reduction in the costs to UK businesses of traffic congestion.
A reduction in the health costs of traffic-related pollution.
A reduction in the economic costs associated with transport's contribution to climate change.