1 November 2022, London Marriott Hotel County Hall
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
The Liberal Democrats would make it more expensive to fly, freeze airport capacity in the South East and introduce road pricing, its transport spokesman pledged.
Opening the Business Travel Show at Earls Court, Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrats' Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said he preferred a "Transport Hierarchy" that favoured walking, cycling and rail travel, with car and air travel the least-favoured option.
Baker said the real cost of air travel had fallen by 49% since 1980, while rail prices had increased by 50%. He said he supported a "plane tax" to replace Air Passenger Duty but in the meantime favoured a special APD category to discourage domestic air travel.
"We want to move towards a situation where the price of activity is related to the carbon emitted," he said.
He called for airport capacity in the South East to be frozen and plans for a third runway at Heathrow to be scrapped.
Lessons had to be learned from other sectors, he said.
"The concept that you can just meet demand has been abandoned in terms of waste disposal and road building."
However, he said he recognised the importance of long-haul air travel.
Baker said the Liberal Democrats would put much greater emphasis on rail travel.
He proposed that train company franchises be extended beyond the current five years to 20 or more years to encourage investment and said the industry had "run out" of short-term fixes like platform lengthening.
"The network must be grown," he said.
He criticised rail companies for hiking "walk-up" fares.
"The rail industry has to be more sensitive to business travellers that can't predict when they will travel."
Baker said his proposed road pricing scheme would be "revenue neutral for the average motorist but would penalize lorries in order to fund expansion of the rail network.