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Lib Dems slam ministerial car travel

Government ministers and officials travelled almost three million miles by car last year, up by more than a fifth on the period before, according to the Liberal Democrats.The party claims that ministerial travel and chauffeur services cost the taxpayer a "massive" £18 million in 2006.According to a House of Commons written reply, vehicles in the Car and Dispatch Agency fleet travelled more than 2.8 million miles in 2005-06, compared to 2.4 million miles a year previously. The agency's total costs for 2006-07 are expected to total £17.8 million, although the real cost will be borne by the environment and not the taxpayer, the Lib Dems claim.According to the party's transport spokesman, government car journeys pumped out about 821 tonnes of CO2 during the last year.Alistair Carmichael today decried the government's apparent unwillingness to reduce CO2 emissions."It is time to bring these spiralling costs under control. The government must justify this massive increase in ministerial car use," he said."Climate change is the biggest threat our planet faces. It is vital that everyone does as much as possible to cut down on carbon emissions."Transport currently accounts for over a quarter of the UK's CO2. Government ministers need to start leading by example," he concluded.

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