A new Deal for Transport Better for Everyone The Government's White Paper on the Future of Transport Contents Foreword Acknowledgements Scope of the White Paper part I chapter 1: a new Deal for Transport part II chapter 2: Sustainable Transport Chapter

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Ports and shipping
Shipping operations can have an impact on the marine and coastal environment. We are committed to working through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the adoption of rules and standards and for their effective enforcement.

In the UK, a number of routing measures have been established around the coastline; these were introduced to prevent accidents but some also provide protection for environmentally sensitive areas, in the light of the Donaldson report11. The effectiveness of these measures and the need for complementary action is kept under review.

When maritime accidents occur, it is essential that prompt response action can be taken. That is why we have taken measures to secure the provision of emergency towing vessels (ETVs) at three strategic locations around the UK coast for the next three winters. Ideally, however, we would like to provide all-year round protection. We have therefore announced that, during the course of the current ETV contracts, we will be considering the scope for imposing a levy on ships to pay for additional ETV cover.

We also want to reduce operational pollution from ships by encouraging the responsible discharge of ships' wastes in port through our policy of port waste management planning. The operators of ports, harbours, terminals and marinas have a statutory duty to ensure the provision of adequate reception facilities for ships' wastes. We have complemented this with a new duty to plan the provision of such facilities in consultation with users and other interested parties. The aim is to integrate shipping and port operations so that ships' wastes can be efficiently discharged in port. This should remove any excuse for illegal discharges at sea.

In the light of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch report on the Sea Empress, a review of the arrangements for harbour pilotage was carried out. We have concluded that habour pilotage should continue to be provided by harbour authorities but increasingly integrated into their overall safety systems. These systems need to be reviewed as a whole if the highest safety standards are to be achieved. We propose to develop a "Marine Operations Code for Ports" covering all port safety functions, not just pilotage. We are now taking this forward in consultation with industry and other interests. The aim is to set a national standard, and to create a guide for harbour authorities to prepare detailed safety policies, in consultation with local users and other interests. The Code will also serve as a benchmark by which safety improvements can be measured in future.
Marine clean-up
We are pressing within IMO for continued international action to ensure that prompt and adequate compensation is available for the costs of clean up activities and losses caused by marine pollution from ships. We welcome the fact that the amounts available under the international compensation regime for oil pollution from tankers were recently increased. We are participating in discussions on further changes to the regime.

We are taking a leading role in discussions aimed at encouraging the early ratification of the IMO's Hazardous and Noxious Substances Convention. Once in force, this convention will extend the benefits of the existing regime for oil pollution from tankers to other dangerous and polluting cargoes carried by ships. We are also in the lead in IMO discussions on how to fill the gaps left by these two regimes. In particular, we are pressing for the development of an international liability regime for oil pollution caused by the fuel carried by ships other than tankers and of an IMO code setting minimum standards for the insurance cover taken out by shipowners.

Air transport
With our international partners, we will continue to press for tighter worldwide standards for aircraft noise and emissions. We will also ensure that appropriate noise standards are set and enforced at UK airports (see later in this Chapter) and environmental issues will be an important part of our review of airports policy.

We will seek international agreement to improve the aircraft engine standard for emissions of nitrogen oxides, to reflect what is achievable using the latest technology. We will maintain pressure in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for greater stringency in aircraft noise standards to reflect advances in technology. We will also seek agreement to prevent the use of aircraft which barely meet existing noise standards. Where worldwide measures on engine emissions and aircraft noise cannot be agreed, we will consider what can be done at European or UK level.

The Kyoto climate change Protocol places a new obligation on countries to work through ICAO to limit or reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from aviation. We will continue to pursue in ICAO the potential for environmental levies and to press for removal of the exemption from tax on aviation fuel, to encourage fuel efficiency. We welcome the initiative by the previous Dutch Presidency of the EU for a study on the competitive and environmental effects on the EU of an aviation fuel tax, and look forward to its publication later this year.
Better planning
Land use planning plays a central role in delivering sustainable development, complementing and contributing to the success of other measures such as economic instruments. The planning system operates by providing incentives for the development of land through the allocation of uses in statutory plans and a means of control, by preventing development which is judged to go against the public interest.

By reviewing the framework set in planning policy guidance and by ensuring that Regional Planning Guidance is up-to-date and incorporates regional transport strategies, we can help to ensure that local authorities' plans and decisions, and proposals from individuals and businesses, reflect integrated transport policy.

Our overall approach to planning is aimed at containing the dispersal of development so reducing the need to travel and improving access to jobs, leisure and services. We want to promote regional strategies for planning that are integrated and sustainable and we want these to provide the context for local transport plans and development plans.

We will monitor the impacts of our planning policies to ensure that they are well targeted and do not impose unnecessary costs on business. This is central to our initiatives to modernise the planning system to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
New policy guidance
The publication of PPG13 (the planning policy guidance note on transport) in England in 1994 was a major step towards planning land uses and transport together. It aimed to reduce the need to travel, especially by car, and to encourage means of travel which are more environmentally friendly.

We will build on this change of direction and, based on a clear assessment of the costs and benefits, we will update our planning guidance to ensure that we have the right framework to deliver integrated transport policy at the local level. In England, we will revise our guidance notes on Transport, Development Plans and Housing.

In Scotland, we are publishing consultative drafts of a National Policy Guideline and a Planning Advice Note on Transport and Planning. These documents will take forward in Scotland the general principles outlined below on the integration of land use and transport planning. The guidance provided in Planning Guidance (Wales): Planning Policy, Planning Guidance (Wales): Unitary Development Plans, and appropriate Technical Advice Notes will be revised to set the planning framework for applying the new approach. In Northern Ireland the new policy framework is set out in the Regional Strategic Framework and planning policy statements will be prepared or revised.
Planning guidance for transport
We will update existing guidance on locations for major growth and travel generating uses, with an increased emphasis on accessibility to jobs, leisure and services by foot, bicycle and public transport. This will include the promotion of major development within public transport corridors and other areas where good public transport exists or can be provided. We have research in hand to provide practical advice for local authorities so that their proposals for growth along public transport corridors are brought forward in ways that support sustainable development.

We will ensure that development plan policies for parking support our policies for the location of development. Parking standards should be devised and applied having regard to the accessibility of locations by modes other than the car. We have commissioned research to help in developing a method for local authorities to set parking standards, by type and location of development. This will report by the end of the year. We will also encourage cycle parking standards to be applied more widely.

Development plans should give better protection to those sites and routes (both existing and potential) which could be critical in developing infrastructure to widen transport choices; such as interchange facilities allowing road to rail transfer or for water transport. Alternative uses related to sustainable transport should be considered first for sites now surplus to transport requirements. More generally, before giving permission to new developments, local authorities should consider carefully the effect on sustainable transport objectives.

We will provide further guidance on how land use planning can promote public transport, cycling and walking and clarify the handling of traffic management issues in development plans. We will set out guidance on the land use issues arising from re-allocating road space to pedestrians, cyclists and buses. There will be new guidance to ensure that planning policies and implementation should take full account of the needs of all in society, including those of disabled people and the need in rural areas to promote service provision.
We will revise our planning guidance on housing to give clearer advice on the location and form of housing development. This will emphasise the benefits of providing new homes in towns and cities and making the most of places or vacant buildings which can be well served by public transport or easily reached on foot or by cycle. Local planning authorities will need to consider the future travel patterns that would be created when planning for new homes.

The revised guidance will stress the need for careful planning of those places and sites that are not close to existing public transport. Our aim is for new housing which avoids undue reliance on the car. The options available to local authorities will include ensuring that any major new development provides good public transport as part of the scheme, or where this is not feasible using the place for activities that do not generate significant travel demands.

Development plans
We consulted earlier this year on our proposals to improve the procedures for preparing development plans and their content. We will publish shortly a full revision of the guidance as a draft for public consultation. This will:

  • set out the new approach for producing better plans more quickly;

  • provide guidance on how development plans will integrate with local transport plans.

In revising planning guidance on minerals we will take account of the importance of promoting greater use of rail and water transport.
Better implementation in the planning process
Revising planning guidance, moving to a new generation of Regional Planning Guidance and encouraging better appraisal of plans and proposals will not in themselves produce developments that support the objectives of this White Paper, without the co-operation and support of the development industry and local authorities.

We are confident of winning that support in most cases. But where there are proposals that would undermine our integrated transport policy, we will not hesitate to consider using our powers of intervention, through the scrutiny of plans by Government Offices in England and through decisions by the Secretary of State on applications before him.

Informing key decision-makers

  • in partnership with the professional bodies, we will develop a strategy for training which brings key players and decision-makers together and raises awareness;

  • this will promote greater understanding of integrated transport policy and its implications for town and country planning;

  • we will explore the scope for a joint initiative with the Local Government Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute.

We have announced measures to modernise the planning system in England. These include more explicit national policy statements on the need for projects of national importance such as airports and the criteria for site selection, and changes in public inquiry procedures.

We will continue to look for ways to improve the planning system's delivery of integrated transport policy. This will include a review of the Use Classes Order and General Permitted Development Order. We will also update the guidance on the use of planning conditions to clarify the scope for developers to provide facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and those travelling to and from the new development by public transport.

Similarly, once our review of the use of planning obligations is completed, we will use the opportunity of any subsequent revision to guidance on their use to shift the emphasis when improving off-site transport facilities away from catering for car traffic to providing for public transport and cycling and walking. We will also consider encouraging the incorporation of green transport plans into planning obligations.

Good design
Good design of new development is important if we are to make the most of opportunities for walking, cycling and public transport in new developments. We are publishing two documents which stress the importance of design issues in the development process: the "Good Practice Guide on Design in the Planning System" sets out key urban design principles, including ease of movement and mixed use development, to maximise the opportunities for public transport, cycling and walking. "Places, Streets and Movement", a companion guide to Design Bulletin 32, advocates distinctive, safe and attractive estate layouts which better reflect local character, and moves away from planning which caters solely for car use.
Better enforcement

Many of the proposals in this White Paper will require new measures to ensure that they are properly enforced. Although we are confident of general public support for these measures, it will be eroded if some people are seen to ignore the standards that are necessary for the good of us all.

Better enforcement: road traffic
Previous governments have, we believe, done too little to combat the idea that many road traffic offences - speeding in particular - do not really matter. We also want better enforcement to give priority to public transport and to reduce pollution from traffic. So we need to take a new and radical look at enforcement.
Better enforcement does not necessarily require more resources. Nor is it necessarily right that all these tasks should be undertaken by fully trained police officers. Clearly there are some motoring offences which amount to very serious crimes. We want these to be detected and prosecuted with all the powers which the police possess. But we also want to make full use of other means, especially technology, to make the most of the police resources we have and to assist other agencies to enforce safety and environmental standards effectively.
Technology for enforcement
In recent years, cameras have been used as a very effective means of detecting speeding or jumping red traffic lights. A Home Office study in 1996 showed that speed cameras operated by 10 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales reduced accidents by 28%. The investment paid off - there was a 500% return in the first year and a similar level of benefit thereafter. We want to see an extension of the use of cameras to reduce speed and accidents, save lives and improve the environment.

As part of our commitment to greater efficiency and effectiveness in public services we are looking at ways to improve the current arrangements for funding cameras. In doing so, we will want to ensure that the use of cameras is determined by the road safety and other benefits which they can deliver for the community.

Recently, more London buses have been equipped with cameras so that car drivers who use or obstruct bus lanes can be caught and prosecuted. Illegal use of bus lanes carries a maximum fine of £1,000 but many offences are dealt with under the fixed penalty procedure, in which case the penalty is £20. We take a serious view of bus lane offences and will consider the case for a higher penalty in our review of the level of fixed penalties. Trials have also been carried out using cameras to enforce box junctions where offences can cause congestion. Many of our proposals will require better traffic management and we will investigate what further contribution cameras might make to enforcing such measures.

London bus lane enforcement

  • a publicity campaign will highlight the importance of bus lanes in improving the speed and reliability of buses and will show the difference it will make when drivers obey the law. The aim is to improve journey times and reliability, encouraging greater use of buses;

  • police and local authorities will work together so that restrictions will be enforced on a route by route basis, concentrating on bus lanes, bus stops and key junctions or areas where bus priority measures would be particularly helpful;

  • we will be rolling out camera enforcement of bus lanes London-wide, harnessing new technology to help keep bus lanes clear;

  • London Transport is to offer London boroughs' parking attendants free travel passes, allowing them to ride on buses and target illegal parking in bus lanes.

In the longer term, it may be possible to use adaptive cruise control devices linked to geographical information systems to prevent vehicles from going faster than the speed limit in specific places. The technology is still under development but there are also potential future applications for congestion charging. Other future developments include devices which would maintain safe distances between vehicles and ways of slowing traffic automatically when approaching traffic lights or at junctions or outside schools.

Role of other agencies
We have traditionally looked to the police for most forms of enforcement. But more specialised staff can fulfil some of these tasks, leaving the police to do more difficult ones. For example, there has been a move away from the use of police for parking enforcement to traffic wardens, some under police control, others employed by local authorities. In other areas, police duties have been civilianised - for example, photographs taken by speed cameras are commonly examined by civilians supervised by police officers.

Greener Cities - local authority emissions checks

  • seven local authorities (Birmingham, Bristol, Canterbury, Glasgow, Middlesbrough, Swansea and Westminster) are piloting powers to check vehicle emissions at the roadside, with the police, and issuing fines to owners of vehicles which fail the test;

  • the results are being monitored. If the scheme is successful, the powers will be extended to all local authorities;

  • to help motorists, free emissions checks are on offer in the pilot areas.

Some of the tasks needed to make our new policies a success are relatively routine; they do not require the skill and judgement of a police officer. For example, it should not always be necessary, provided there are safeguards, to employ the police to stop traffic so that other specialists can check vehicle emissions or the proper loading or roadworthiness of lorries. Cameras can help in some of these tasks by making it unnecessary to stop vehicles, but not all problems can be dealt with that way. We will consult the police associations and others on proposals that:

  • traffic could be stopped by traffic wardens under the control of the police for checking by other agencies, with essential safeguards;

  • an enforcement police sign to stop traffic, put in place by a police officer, could be used by agencies such as the Vehicle Inspectorate to stop lorries, buses and coaches at checkpoints for roadworthiness and compliance with other traffic legislation;

  • police civilian staff should be able to take decisions about camera offences within criteria set by the chief officer. As at present, the criteria would reserve particularly serious offences for prosecution in the courts, and maintain overall control over fixed penalties.

We will examine whether other less serious offences where proof is relatively easy to obtain might be suitable for such streamlined procedures, to save police and court time. In taking forward these initiatives, we will ensure that traffic rules and regulations are enforced in a way which respects the rights of individuals, and is properly targeted on bad driving and anti-social behaviour.
Police organisation
Chief officers of police are responsible for the level of policing in their areas. They have to have regard in applying their resources to the key objectives set every year by the Home Secretary. Although road policing is not one of the Home Secretary's key objectives, these are intended to indicate development priorities for the coming year and, as the Home Secretary's letter to chief officers on the key objectives made clear, "traffic policing is a central part of the police's responsibilities for maintaining law and order and preventing and deterring crime and reducing death and injury on the roads. I will therefore expect traffic policing to play a full part in achieving my overall objectives for the Police Service, particularly in relation to community safety and crime reduction and in achieving a safer environment on the roads". We will continue to consider ways to promote effective road policing.
British Transport Police
The British Transport Police (BTP) provides a specialist dedicated police service to the railway industry in Great Britain, covering railways, London Underground and the Docklands Light Railway. The BTP's aim is to make railways safe and secure and it is committed to preventing, detecting and reducing the fear of crime. This includes a significant role in counter-terrorism, to protect the public and the railway system. The annual budget of some £104 million is provided by the industry, primarily train operators and Railtrack.

We are reviewing the future of the BTP, including the jurisdiction of the force and the merits of establishing a separate police authority to increase its public accountability. We expect to announce conclusions shortly.

Wheelclamping on private land
The law on the use of wheelclamping on private land is clear, but largely unenforced. In England and Wales wheelclamping on private land is legal providing there are warning notes and the release fee is reasonable. Unscrupulous wheelclamping operators are preying on motorists and cause nuisance to the public. In response to our recent consultation, there was overwhelming support for regulation of wheelclamping on private land.

We wish to introduce regulation of wheelclamping in the context of the introduction of statutory measures to regulate the private security industry as a whole. We intend to bring forward firm proposals for regulating the industry later this year.

Better enforcement: freight transport
We will bring forward a number of initiatives to promote higher safety and environmental standards in the freight transport industry. Effective enforcement here often depends on reliable information. At the moment, this information is spread among different enforcement organisations.

We will:

  • improve the co-ordination of information between Government and other agencies involved in enforcement activities (ie the police, the Vehicle Inspectorate, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the Traffic Area offices and local authority Trading Standards officers) using information technology through the Joint Enforcement Database Initiative.

A significant minority of transport operators continue to adopt a short-term, cost-cutting approach at the expense of safety and the environment. We will:

  • bring forward legislation to enable the detention of illegally operated vehicles, in the light of the current consultation;

  • seek to ensure that weighbridges are available for enforcement at all freight terminals and ports where this is justified by the levels of road freight traffic.

We will also work in partnership with industry and local government to promote a more responsible attitude to safety and environment throughout the freight transport industry. As part of this, we will:

  • promote best practice on safety and the environment with industry and the larger logistics companies.

Better appraisal
Transport impact assessment
Transport impact assessments will be incorporated in the process of assessing the environmental implications of all relevant Government policies and major location decisions. Arrangements are also being made for Health Impact Assessments of key policies. This will ensure that transport, environment and health implications are considered in Government policy making where appropriate.

Building in transport and land use considerations in the early stages of policy development, Government leading by example:

  • in DOH's Green Paper "Our Healthier Nation";

  • in DfEE's "The School's Environmental Assessment Method";

  • in MoD's guidelines for disposing of redundant sites;

  • in the adoption of green transport plans.

We are developing a checklist of women's transport requirements which can be used to audit transport initiatives and ensure that their transport needs are taken into account from the start. We will make this checklist available to all local authorities and transport providers.

New approach to appraisal for transport projects
We are developing a new approach to the appraisal of different solutions to transport problems12. This is designed to draw together the large amount of information collected as part of the appraisal of a transport problem and alternative solutions. This information is set against the five criteria which we have adopted for the review of trunk roads ie integration, safety, economy, environment and accessibility. It looks at the contribution of different forms of transport in developing alternative solutions and the potential effect of the new integrated transport approach, including the scope for and effect of demand management measures. It is our intention that this new approach, once finalised, will be applied to the appraisal of all transport projects, including proposals for all road schemes.
Economic appraisal
As part of this appraisal, the economic impact of road investment is taken into account largely through the estimated benefits of reduced journey times for commercial, business and other traffic. Techniques are being developed to assess the economic value of journey time reliability and to identify those improvements which contribute most to reliability. In the interim, the current review has sought to identify such benefits in qualitative terms.

The Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA) is considering the relationship between transport infrastructure investment and economic growth. Its interim report noted that transport investment can have economic impacts that are not measured in conventional cost-benefit appraisal and which could be either positive or negative. SACTRA is undertaking further work to determine the feasibility of developing appraisal methods to assess these additional impacts.

We accept SACTRA's interim finding that there is no simple, unambiguous link between transport provision and local regeneration. Each case must be assessed on its merits. In some cases, road access is essential in order to provide access to sites which could not otherwise be developed. We agree that improvements are needed to the methods used in local and regional economic impact studies so that the contribution of transport investment to regeneration can be better assessed. We will take account of SACTRA's interim findings in developing our new approach to appraisal. SACTRA is now continuing its investigation and expects to report at the end of the year.
Environmental appraisal
Environmental impacts are taken into account from the earliest stages of planning and designing new transport projects. Environmental appraisal considers a range of effects including air quality, noise, emissions, land, wildlife, the countryside, the built environment and cultural heritage as well as the effects on people and their health. Because of the potential environmental impacts of major new construction, it is important that alternatives to new construction are considered at the earliest stages of planning. Alternatives include making better use of existing infrastructure and managing demand for it and the use of other forms of transport.

All projects likely to have a significant effect on the environment are subject to a formal environmental impact assessment in accordance with EU legislation. Proposals for transport infrastructure affecting sites of international importance are assessed in accordance with the provisions of the relevant international legislation. In practice, we expect there to be few cases where it is judged that imperative reasons of overriding public interest will allow development to proceed which will have an adverse impact on the integrity of internationally designated sites.

For all environmentally sensitive areas or sites13 there will be a strong presumption against new or expanded transport infrastructure which would significantly affect such sites or important species, habitats or landscapes. Where such proposals arise, they will be assessed in relation to the status and purpose of the site including whether it is of international, national or local importance, and where relevant, the protected status of the species or habitat in international or domestic legislation and whether it is a target species or habitat in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, against the degree of impact of the scheme and the scope for mitigation.

A transport scheme which would significantly affect a sensitive site or important species, habitat or landscape should not go ahead unless it is clear that the net benefits in terms of the other objectives (including other environmental benefits) clearly override the environmental disbenefits, there is no other better option and all reasonable steps have been taken to mitigate the impact. Particular consideration should be given to species or habitats given international protection, for example, under the EC Birds and Habitats Directive. Each case will be determined on its merits, taking account of the following questions:

  • how important is the area/site, including its international importance or significance for UK biodiversity?

  • how serious is the likely impact?

  • are there alternatives which avoid the impact (including not going ahead with the scheme)?

  • would the alternatives serve the purpose and at reasonable cost?

  • if not, are mitigation or compensatory measures feasible? Are they likely to be successful? Are the costs reasonable in the circumstances?

The feasibility, desirability and cost of providing compensatory measures will be a factor: some areas, sites, habitats or species may be irreplaceable and that will have a particular weight in the assessment. These principles will be applied to all forms of transport development which affect sensitive areas or significant aspects of our cultural heritage, such as listed sites or buildings.

In order to improve the appraisal of environmental impacts, the statutory environmental agencies are developing the concept of environmental capital. We will keep in close touch with this work and incorporate its findings as appropriate in our assessment and appraisal of new infrastructure.
Improving appraisal: the planning process
Research shows that the former DOE publication, "The Environmental Appraisal of Development Plans: a good practice guide"14 has been widely adopted and is proving useful.

Our emphasis now goes wider than environmental impacts, encompassing the full agenda of sustainable development, including tackling social exclusion. We will therefore consider complementing this guide with one which considers social, economic and environmental impacts, so that decisions can be taken with the benefit of a consistent appraisal. This would help local authorities to improve their understanding of the likely economic and social impacts of emerging policies and proposals in draft development plans.

We have research in hand to assess the practicability of applying the principles of such appraisal to Regional Planning Guidance, drawing on experience so far in the UK and elsewhere.

We will consider how we can improve the way local road proposals and transport issues are handled at structure plan Examinations in Public (EIPs) and at local plan inquiries. We are considering in particular the adequacy of the appraisal methodologies used by local authorities and the thoroughness of the evaluation undertaken, as well as the time allowed for transport issues at EIPs and inquiries and the extent to which these issues are dealt with in the resulting reports.

Improving appraisal: development proposals
Properly considered development plans are important but achieving better integration on the ground depends also on getting the right development in the right places.

Currently, some proposals for major development are subject to 'environmental assessment' and 'traffic impact studies'. Our planning guidance on transport (PPG13) and on Retail Development and Town Centres (PPG6) both advocate a broader approach to appraisal to encompass the impact on overall travel and car use. We will provide further guidance on how development proposals should be assessed, including accessibility to the site by public transport, walking and cycling.

These documents support our planning policy guidance that places increased emphasis on the need for local authorities in preparing development plans to consider design. Local authorities can help by promoting good design and rejecting bad design. Applicants for planning permission will be expected to demonstrate that their proposals have addressed key design principles.

Planning for accessibility

We are considering ways of giving greater emphasis to accessibility, in the sense of access to jobs, leisure and services by public transport, walking and cycling, in the land use planning process. These include reinforcing our policies for the location of development with accessibility criteria at the regional and local level, broadening the approach to assessment for development plans and proposals, and in determining parking standards.

Understanding the effects of noise
We have work in hand to develop a fuller understanding of the problems arising from transport noise. This includes:

  • a study to measure noise at a representative sample of 1,000 sites in England and Wales with results available in 1999-2000;

  • an assessment of attitudes to noise on the same timescale (we are exploring the practicability of linking these two surveys as this might allow correlations to be drawn between noise levels and attitude to noise);

  • mapping of its area, to be completed in Autumn 1998 and possible follow up work. The aim is to test the usefulness of noise mapping as a tool for establishing where noise problems exist and for assessing the noise effects of proposals for traffic management;

  • further work on the health and related effects of noise will be carried out under a three year joint Department of Health and Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions research programme.

Noise standards
At the same time, we will continue to apply measures to reduce noise and the impact of noise from transport. The European Union has a role to play in developing standards for vehicle emissions and we will press for the adoption of standards aimed at reducing noise emissions where this can be done cost effectively and without jeopardising safety. We will work with the European Commission on the development of noise standards for new freight wagons and high speed inter-city trains.

The adoption of tighter European noise emission standards for road vehicles over the last ten years has had a noticeable effect on noise emitted from vehicles in urban areas, but not so far on the noise from traffic travelling at higher speeds on inter-urban roads. Although the noise emitted by vehicles built to the latest standards is about half that allowed ten years ago, the benefits are being eroded by the continuing growth in traffic. A new standard has been developed specifically to limit tyre noise, but attention is increasingly being directed at road surfaces which generate less tyre noise.

The noise arising from the latest quiet road surfaces compared to that generated by the traditional types of motorway surface is about the same as if the amount of traffic were halved. We are continuing to develop quieter surfaces to improve their noise reduction properties, extend their useful life and reduce costs. In doing so, we are taking particular care to maintain a sufficient degree of grip between road and tyre. Whenever a road needs to be resurfaced we will seek to take advantage of the new, quieter surfacing that is available in deciding which treatment is appropriate for each location.

We recognise that noise from commercial vehicles, especially empty lorries, can be very intrusive. Following a joint review with industry, we intend to publish a joint Guide to Best Practice advising operators and manufacturers how to minimise such noise.

Noise mitigation
It is not technically feasible to eliminate all transport noise at source and we will therefore consider ways of mitigating the effect of noise where appropriate. The European Commission has proposed a Framework Directive on environmental noise to harmonise methods of calculating noise exposure so that targets and action plans could be developed, initially by Member States but eventually at EU level. We are playing an active part in the technical groups that are taking this work forward.

We recognise the significant impact of increased traffic on roads which were not designed to carry large volumes of traffic. Excessive noise is a major source of concern to people who live near busy roads and in some cases noise levels at properties are now much higher than the threshold which would trigger noise insulation if the road had been built to current standards. We are examining the scope for noise mitigation measures on trunk roads built before these standards were created.

The speed at which road traffic travels is also important in the level of noise which is produced and its effects on the population. The relationship between road traffic speed, emissions, noise and safety will be considered as part of our review of speed policy (see Chapter 3).

The measures taken by local authorities to address significant local air quality problems or to meet local road traffic reduction targets should also result in improvements in the general environment, including reduced noise. It is important that the effect of traffic management measures on noise is taken into account in assessing proposals.

We propose to take powers to enable airports to enforce mitigation measures, for example by taking action against non-compliant airlines, and to enable local authorities to enforce noise mitigation agreements. This will require legislation and we will consult on the details. In the interim, there is nothing to stop airports from entering into voluntary noise mitigation agreements with their local authorities.

The Planning Guidance Note on noise (PPG24) advises local authorities in England on the use of their planning powers to minimise the impact of noise. It sets out criteria for permitting noise-sensitive and noise-generating developments and advice on conditions to minimise the impact of noise.

Responses to the consultation expressed concern about the application and interpretation of this guidance, especially in relation to smaller airports. We will review the operation of the guidance and, if necessary, take action to ensure that its principles are followed by local authorities and developers. 
Technology - research and development
Technological development offers many new and better opportunities for integrating transport. Our policy is to use the most appropriate and cost-effective technology for each task and to encourage pilot trials of newer technologies or systems that show special promise.

We expect the private sector to play its full part in bringing to the market transport technology which supports integration. For our part, we will seek to help remove institutional and other non-technical barriers to the use of technology, in partnership with others.

Our main aim is to identify and assess all the implications (including the safety, environmental, social and financial implications) so that everyone is clear about the likely effects of implementing a specific technology or group of technologies. Although the development and deployment of some technologies are likely to occur in the normal course of business, we will take action when necessary to promote progress. For example, we will:

  • consult widely on technology development and research needs;

  • support research and development of relevant promising technologies-through either wholly funded research and Seedcorn programmes or collaborative schemes such as a LINK programme;

  • support trials, demonstration and validation projects and pilot implementation projects;

  • oversee the dissemination of research results and promote good practice;

  • facilitate public-private partnerships with clearly defined roles;

  • provide incentives to promote the use of cost-effective technology through fiscal and regulatory measures, and promote discussions on the way forward;

  • ensure that the aims and objectives of this White Paper are fully integrated into the new Foresight 2000 initiative.15

Research and development into technology is carried out by many organisations: the European Commission, local authorities, research councils, the science base and industry. A partnership approach will often provide the best way forward. Working with our European partners, for example, we are seeking to ensure that the EU Fifth Framework Research and Development Programme supports research relevant to integrated transport and will complement national research.

Technologies develop at different rates and can be superseded relatively quickly. We believe that the best approach is one that builds on existing knowledge and development, where each step adds value and is consistent with the longer term solution.

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), or transport telematics, for example, is being rapidly developed by a growing sector. It could be one of the most significant transport applications of technology to emerge in recent years. It has the potential to deliver many integrated transport objectives, including comprehensive real time travel information and guidance.

Some work on the need for telematics systems to 'inter-operate' has been completed or is in progress in the USA, Japan and Europe. While not every UK system needs to operate with every other system, many may need to do so in future. Building on the results of this work, we will assist in the development of transport telematics applications, including those that are relevant for public transport, as a priority.

1Third Report of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee "The Proposed Strategic Rail Authority and Railway Regulation", Stationery Office, March 1998. ISBN 0-10-221498-0.

2 The Scottish Executive will be responsible for administering freight facilities grant and track access grant in Scotland, and the National Assembly for Wales will administer freight facilities grant in Wales.

3 "A Fair Deal for Consumers: Modernising the Framework for Utility Regulation", published by The Stationery Office, March 1998.

4 designated by the Secretary of State under the powers proposed in the Regional Development Agencies Bill.

5 "Building Partnerships for Prosperity - sustainable growth, competitiveness and employment in the English regions", December 1997, Cm 3814.

6 "A Mayor and Assembly for London - The Government's Proposals for Modernising the Governance of London", March 1998, Cm 3897.

7"Bus Services for Rural Communities: an audit of villages in England", TAS Partnership Limited, October 1997.

8A recent Bristol based study of parking control strategies found that a package of measures based on a reduction of 12.5% in private, non-residential parking could reduce future morning peak traffic by between 7% and 10%.

8agreement was also reached on limit values for sulphur dioxide. The four agreed limit values are broadly equivalent to the comparable objectives in the UK's National Air Quality Strategy.

9"Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas", Report of Lord Donaldson's inquiry into the prevention of pollution from merchant shipping, May 1994.

10Appraisal frameworks based on these principles will be developed for assessing transport proposals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

11For example, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Nature Reserves and National Scenic Areas in Scotland.

12"The Environmental Appraisal of Development Plans: A Good Practice Guide", DOE, 1993. HMSO ISBN 0-11-752866-8.

13The Office of Science and Technology is consulting on proposals for the next round of work under the UK Foresight Programme, which the Government intends to launch in April 1999. "Foresight - consultation on the next round of the Foresight programme", DTI, March 1998.

Chapter 5 -A Shared Responsibility
"For Leon's sake and for the sake of everyone, you can 'do your bit' to make his world- our world - a cleaner, better place in which to live."

Launch of the DETR campaign. March 1998

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