Charging for use of roads within specified areas, and control of private non-residential parking would increase the efficiency with which the road network is used, and reflect more clearly the environmental and social costs involved. The introduction of charging should be a local decision and any revenue raised should be spent locally to finance public transport and other infrastructure improvements.
ENCOURAGING USE OF ALTERNATIVE MODES
Rail regulation should facilitate strategic development of rail, and ensure that it contributes fully to an integrated public transport system
Traffic calming, the provision of quality networks, and better facilities for cyclists will be needed to encourage cycling.
TRANSPORT AND LAND USE PLANNING
Transport plans should be integrated with land use plans to reduce the need to travel, distances travelled, and dependence on lorries. Plans should be long term, and co-ordinated at the regional level.
Initiatives to reduce freight intensity, and to transfer freight from road to rail should be supported.
The trend to heavier lorries appeared inconsistent with this objective, so they should only be permitted on suitable roads.
The emphasis should be on making maximum use of capacity of existing road network, removing bottlenecks through minor construction work and improving traffic management.
Any introduction of motorway tolls should be accompanied by measures to avoid or minimise diversion. Lorries using motorways might pay a vignette 'fee'.
An enhanced programme of investment over a 10 year period is needed in order to create an environmentally sustainable transport system.
Targets for traffic reduction must have a clear and specific justification and must set out the preferred and most effective method of achieving those objectives.
There should be a concerted campaign to change public attitudes to cars.
Specific policies are needed to deal with the transport problems of rural areas.
The proposed Greater London Authority will be well placed to improve London's transport system. The responsibilities of passenger transport executives in other connurbations should be extended to cover all aspects of integrated transport, including regulation of private transport.
ANNEX D - 'Transport: The Way Forward'
An extract from the previous Government's Green Paper 'Transport: The Way Forward' taken from Section 1 'Why transport policy has been reviewed: objectives and pressures'
This paper fulfils the Government's commitment to draw together the threads of the national debate on transport policy. Besides analysing the conclusions of the debate, the document sets out the Government's view of the future direction of policy - including proposals for some significant new measures aimed at developing policy to meet changing expectations. The paper concentrates on domestic, surface transport in England. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has produced a statement on transport priorities there; the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales intend to publish transport policy statements later.
The debate has shown there is growing public awareness of the impact of traffic growth, and divergence of views about how to promote sustainable development and the competitiveness of UK industry, while preserving freedom of choice. These concepts are discussed further in chapters 3-5. There are still strong demands for improved access and efficient transport, but individuals see a clear need for further action to reduce the environmental impacts of transport; and business is very concerned about the prospect of increased congestion on industrial costs. There has been a significant increase in the amount of concern on both these issues in recent years, although concern is somewhat lower in places where congestion and pollution are less severe.
Over the last few years the Government has adopted a wide range of measures to address these issues:
since 1979 more than £24 billion has been spent in tackling congestion through investment on the national motorway and trunk road network;
there has been very substantial new investment in public transport, including electrification of the East Coast Main Line, light rail schemes and the Channel Tunnel;
there has been a substantial programme of liberalisation and privatisation for transport leading to wider and better services for transport users;
new sources of funds have been tapped through the private finance initiative (PFI) for projects such as the Dartford Bridge and the Heathrow Express;
the most harmful transport emissions in urban areas are set to fall to less than half their 1990 levels by 2005 as a result of measures already introduced to tighten regulations for new vehicles and improve enforcement for older vehicles - new measures will reduce pollution still further;
we are on target for returning CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000;
new arrangements have been introduced for local transport funding, encouraging local authorities to take a more strategic view of local transport needs. New planning guidance has been introduced, stressing the aim of reducing the need to travel.
But more needs to be done, building on these achievements. Taking further action may require hard choices be made. Policies which impact on the use of cars and lorries would need to be justified by the benefits achieved. Changes will take some time to have full effect.
Key themes which have emerged in the national debate, and which the Government proposes to pursue, including the following:
- Better planning of transport infrastructure
Concerns about both the direct and the indirect impacts of new roads have been clearly expressed, and continue to be a source of conflict. The Government invites comments on a proposal for integrating more closely the regional land use planning system with the planning of trunk roads. The proposal could help assessment of the needs for new infrastructure at a regional level. These arrangements will help to ensure that cost-effective public transport alternatives to road improvements and traffic management options are considered at an early stage as an integral part of the decision-making process, without holding up necessary improvements. They will help to involve local interests more.
- Making more efficient use of existing infrastructure
Business and environment interests are united in wishing to see better use of existing infrastructure, both to help business competitiveness and to reduce the need for further road improvements. The Government has the needs of the business community firmly in mind. Specific measures to be pursued by Government include development of techniques for managing traffic flows on motorways; development of route strategies by the Highways Agency; improved information to road users; and carefully-targeted investment in the national roads network. Privatisation of the railways will help make better use of rail infrastructure. The Government aims to exploit new technologies where these can help promote greater efficiency. Increasing the efficiency of freight transport - on which industry depends - will need special attention.
- Reducing dependence on the car, especially in towns; empowering local decision making
60% of journeys by car drivers are less than 5 miles. Concerns about congestion, air pollution and the other impacts of car use have focused attention on the need to promote alternative transport modes: but pressures are clearly much greater in some parts of the country than in others. The need for local solutions means that local authorities must play a leading role. They already have a range of powers. There has been general support for Government planning guidance and for Government policies for funding local transport: the Government will therefore continue to support local authorities through these instruments. The Government believes there is a case for giving local authorities some additional powers to manage traffic.
- Switching emphasis in spending from roads to public transport
The debate showed a strong preference for improved public transport over expanded road capacity. The Government believes there needs to be a shift in priorities to reflect this. All transport improvements, including public transport, have to be constrained by what is effective and affordable, though privatisation and the PFI open new possibilities. Following privatisation, investment in rail will no longer be wholly dependent on public spending. Promoting bus use is likely to have a major role: the Government will implement the proposals of the Bus Working Group and help local authorities deliver bus priority measures. New strategies for promoting walking and cycling are being developed.
- Reducing the impacts of road freight
Business depends increasingly on road freight and the Government is committed to a competitive business sector, but there are growing concerns about the effects of congestion and environmental impacts. Many calls were made for increasing the proportion of freight moved by rail. The Government recognises the benefits that this can bring - both through easing congestion and through reducing environmental impacts. The Government therefore intends to put increased emphasis on encouraging alternatives to road freight, including both rail and water-borne transport. The sale of the Trainload Freight Companies is a major change in this area and will allow those businesses to pursue innovative, customer-orientated strategies to encourage freight carriage by rail. However, this will not in itself substantially reduce road freight levels unless there are also substantial changes in road delivery patterns. The Government believes that much greater effort needs to be made to reduce transport intensity. The CBI have also acknowledged this in their recently published report "Moving Forward". The Government will therefore be discussing with industry and the CBI the best means of achieving this, including greater dissemination of best practice.
In pursuing these key themes, the Government intends to develop principles which have been applied with considerable success previously in the transport sector and elsewhere. In particular, the Government will seek to improve the efficiency of markets in transport and expand their role, and to expand the role of the private sector. Within this framework the Government also seeks to ensure that the taxpayer gets value for money from those services best provided or funded by the public sector. There may be scope for developing the role of prices: especially to relate more closely to the wider costs of transport. And it will be important to ensure transport decisions are taken at the right level.
DEBATE: PUBLIC ATTITUDES
The debate was warmly welcomed. It built on the Royal Commission report: other significant reports which contributed to the debate included two from the CBI, contributions from many local authorities and their associations, the AA, the RAC, the Freight Transport Association, the Council for the Protection of Rural England, Transport 2000 and many professional institutions. Many seminars were held around the country in an attempt to reach consensus.
The Government also looked at other evidence on public attitudes. Particularly helpful were the British Social Attitudes surveys; Lex reports; RAC and AA work; and a new study carried out by Westminster University. (For references see chapter 2.) Annex 2 of the main paper considers these reports more fully.
The combined message from these surveys and from the national debate is the need to take far greater account of environmental impacts of transport, and the need for tougher measures to solve the problems of congestion and pollution without relying on more or bigger roads. At the same time we must not damage competitiveness.
ANNEX E - Trunk road network
The core trunk road network in England
ANNEX F - Rail network pinch-points
Key locations with current congestion
A - West Coast Main Line:
B - Manchester Slade Lane Junction-
C - Leeds Station area
D - South East London:
Charing Cross-Hither Green-Orpington
E - Midland Mainline:
F - Brighton Line:
Victoria-East Croydon-Haywards Heath
G - Great Eastern Main Line:
Liverpool Street-Gidea Park
H - West Anglia Main Line:
Clapton Junction-Broxbourne Junction
I - East Coast Main Line:
J - Leamington-Coventry-
Birmingham New Street
K - Birmingham New Street-King's Norton
L - Great Western Main Line:
Paddington-Reading and Reading-Basingstoke
M - Bath-Bristol-Severn Tunnel Junction
N - Glasgow Central approaches
- Kilmarnock-Gretna Green
1A full report is available: "The Government's Consultation on Developing an Integrated Transport Policy: A Report", published by the DETR, 1998.
2 The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution's Twentieth report, "Transport and the Environment - Developments since 1994" was presented to Parliament by Command of Her Majesty in September 1997. ISBN 0-10-137522-0.