by Bruno Waterfield
The European Commission on Monday unveiled a "single European transport area" aimed at enforcing "a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers" by 2050.The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.
Top of the EU's list to cut climate change emissions is a target of "zero" for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU's future cities.
Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto "alternative" means of transport.
"That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres," he said. "Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour."
The Association of British Drivers rejected the proposal to ban cars as economically disastrous and as a "crazy" restriction on mobility.
"I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum," said Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the BDA.
"If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker."
Mr Kallas has denied that the EU plan to cut car use by half over the next 20 years, before a total ban in 2050, will limit personal mobility or reduce Europe's economic competitiveness.
"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," he claimed.
Christopher Monckton, Ukip's transport spokesman said: "The EU must be living in an alternate reality, where they can spend trillions and ban people from their cars.
"This sort of greenwashing grandstanding adds nothing and merely highlights their grandiose ambitions."
And so Europe swirls down the drain... whimpering all the way.