MPs are to hear evidence on road safety from a campaign group that dismisses warnings about global heating and wants higher speed limits and fewer cycle lanes, prompting alarm from environmental and active travel organisations.
The Commons transport committee will take oral evidence on Wednesday from the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD), which says it represents mainstream views but accepts its membership is “tiny” as a proportion of drivers.
In May, the ABD’s official Twitter feed argued that the UN and other groups “have been captured by One World Global Marxist sympathisers, whose gradual aim is to gradually pauperise and depopulate the west and the developing world”.
The tweet was later deleted, the group explaining: “Someone got a bit carried away.”
Wednesday’s hearing is about improving road safety for young and novice drivers, and will hear from witnesses including Malcolm Heymer, described as a “traffic management adviser” with the ABD.
Paul Morozzo, a transport campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “I hope the Alliance of British Drivers have only been invited along to provide the transport committee with a spot of light relief, because their views are nothing but a joke.
“This hearing is supposed to be about road safety, but crackpot ideas like increasing speed limits and scrapping cycle schemes would only make our roads and climate more dangerous.”
Simon Munk, a campaign manager with the London Cycling Campaign, said the ABD was “an organisation notorious for its fringe views on driving and road safety”.
He said: “This strikes me as similar to the way the media used to talk to climate change deniers for ‘balance’. This organisation has shown itself to be utterly unfitting to be taken in any way seriously, much less give evidence in parliament.”
Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the ABD, rejected this: “I don’t think it’s fair to say that our views are fringe. What we want is safe roads. Unfortunately, the authorities grab the one thing that they can measure easily, which is speed.”
On the climate emergency, he said: “We don’t deny that the climate is changing. The climate has always changed and will continue to change, and there’s bugger all we can do about it. We’re not causing or accelerating it, or if we are, it’s imperceptible.”
Bladon said he did not know how many members the ABD has: “All I will say is, the number of people we have got in our organisation is tiny when you consider the something like 41 million licence holders in the country.”
The transport committee says that the ABD are among a wide range of groups giving evidence to the inquiry, which has also included relatives of people killed in road crashes involving young drivers, groups that want tougher driving restrictions, and mainstream organisations such as the AA and RAC.
The ABD, which has given evidence to transport committee inquiries in previous years, was invited to appear after it submitted written evidence.