Environment Minister Michael Meacher says we Brits are too attached to our cars and that changes to our national psyche must occur if we are to save the planet (and cut congestion)

If only we were more like the Dutch

Travelling the city streets in anything else but a motorcar is not "embedded in the British psyche" believes Environment Minister Michael Meacher. He added that if the "car culture" was going to change, petrol prices would probably have to go up to "politically intolerable" levels.

It was important that people got into the habit of using alternative forms of transport, as well as walking and cycling more, he said.

Mr Meacher was highlighting the importance of meeting international targets to cut down greenhouse gas levels.

At a pre-election conference on the environment hosted by The Independent newspaper in London, he said: "Twenty five per cent of greenhouse gas emissions are from cars.

"Okay, the Government has not had a fantastic success. This is because it is extremely difficult to change the culture of cars.

"People should walk where they can and use bikes where possible and public transport, and cars only when strictly necessary.

"Ministers need to use cars when under pressure. I have to use cars when it is absolutely necessary, but we all need to use them less.

"This is a message that has not got embedded in the British psyche.

Oh, to be Dutch…

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