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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How far we travel: for education


Several local authorities are already doing valuable work aimed at reducing car use for journeys to school. We are providing support in a variety of ways,for example by:



  • helping to fund the Sustrans 'Safe Routes to School' demonstration projects in Leeds, York, Colchester and Hampshire. These encourage children to walk or cycle to school;

  • funding specific projects in West Sussex, Manchester, Birmingham, Warwickshire and in London

School crossing patrol officers have an important part to play in helping road safety around schools. We will bring forward legislation to strengthen their powers so that they can help children below school age and adults to cross the road. The legislation will also extend the hours during which local authorities can provide school crossing patrols, so that they can tailor provision to local needs.

We will build on the best of current practice and help local authorities, schools, parents and teachers develop a comprehensive approach that reflects local needs and views. Measures that could be considered include escort schemes, before and after school clubs, adjustments to the school day, improvements to local transport services, traffic management and school facilities for cycling. We will take further initiatives to encourage more children to get to school other than by car. These will include:



  • setting up a School Travel Advisory Group with Government Departments, local authorities and others to lead the dissemination of best practice and to contribute to the development of policy;

  • encouraging local authorities to include measures and targets to reduce car travel to school in local transport plans;

  • distributing guidance on best practice for promoting alternatives to the car and on developing green transport plans;

  • encouraging schools and local authorities to take account of the transport implications of their educational policies;

  • encouraging communities to reduce car use without compromising safety, in ways which actively involve children, school governors, parents and local business;

  • securing private sector support for school transport initiatives, building on the recent initiatives to fund computers;

  • as announced in the Healthy Schools initiative, including measures to encourage safe alternatives to the car for travel to school in the criteria for the 'Investors in Health - Healthy Schools Award';

  • covering school journeys in broader national awareness campaigns.



Building communities
Conventional public transport cannot always meet the diverse accessibility needs of all in our communities, particularly the needs of disabled people and those who live in remote rural areas.

Voluntary action is a strength of local communities everywhere. In London, for example, it has given rise to an extensive network of transport services run on a voluntary basis for disabled people. We are conducting a review of voluntary and community transport activity. There are already relaxations of the normal rules for bus operator licensing to help non-profit making bodies, especially those who provide 'community' bus services including mini-buses. The review will provide a better understanding of the role played by the voluntary sector and allow us to consider whether policies at local or national level should be changed to enable the voluntary sector to operate more effectively.



Community transport charter

The Community Transport Association and the Transport and General Workers' Union have launched a minimum standards charter, aimed at all those who fund and operate community transport services, both paid and voluntary. Key points are:

  • regular training for drivers and assistants;

  • assessment of health and safety of workers, including driver stress and fatigue;

  • training in safety and help for passengers, especially for children, disabled people and elderly people;

  • attention to vehicle safety and maintenance

In the countryside voluntary action has supported flexible and innovative approaches to meeting the increasingly diverse needs of rural communities. In preparing local transport plans, local authorities will need actively to involve their local communities, to ensure the right balance of priorities is struck.

Parish councils in England both through their local knowledge and commitment, and through their new powers to fund transport projects by raising money through a precept on council tax, could be valuable partners in improving local accessibility in rural areas. We would like to see them take an increasing role in community transport - using their powers to survey transport needs and to fund community bus services, car sharing schemes and concessionary fares for taxis.

Car clubs

  • owning a car is expensive but individual journeys can seem relatively cheap. Once a car is acquired, it acts as a disincentive to using public transport;

  • the 'city car club' is one solution which has proved very successful in Europe. A pilot starts this summer in Edinburgh: ownership and use of cars is shared - to provide a car when it is really needed but avoid unnecessary use. This is different from conventional car hire in that the cars are kept locally and can be used at short notice and for short periods of time;

  • experience from Germany is that members of clubs who were previously car owners reduce their mileage by half. City car clubs can also help to reduce pressure for parking spaces.

Many of the more innovative proposals in England have been supported by the Rural Transport Development Fund, which is administered by the Rural Development Commission (RDC). We have increased the level of resources going into the fund but the RDC still has to turn away worthwhile projects.

We intend to build on the success of the Rural Transport Development Fund in England by creating a new Rural Transport Partnership scheme to run alongside. This will help to get extra resources into rural transport where it counts.

The new scheme will enable parish councils and voluntary groups to work in partnership with local authorities. The aim is to support schemes which reduce rural isolation and social exclusion through enhanced access to jobs and services. These will be based on local needs and the local community should participate in their development.



We plan to support the new initiative with £4.2 million a year, additional to the resources for transport already going into the countryside in England. Successful projects will be those that galvanise local initiative and offer the prospect of long term enhancements to the quality of rural transport. A key theme will be better co-ordination of existing voluntary, local authority and commercial services.

Improving rural transport

The Snowdon Sherpa:

  • buses can help to reduce traffic congestion in rural 'honeypot' locations. The Snowdon Sherpa in the Snowdonia National Park is one of Britain's longest established national park schemes;

  • major factors in its success are close co-operation between Gwynedd County Council, the National Park and local operators and good publicity for a network of services;

Moorlands community minibus:

  • a self-help project providing a scheduled door-to-door service to help elderly residents reach the services they need or to shop in the nearby towns such as Leek or Ashbourne;

Cheshire Rural Rider:

  • provides accessible bus services around Macclesfield, helping rural residents to get to local day centres or nearby towns. It has pioneered the successful integration of local authority social service and public transport responsibilities.



Supporting your local railway
Rural rail services provide an alternative to the car and for some journeys one that is not easily substituted by bus. We consider that many of them are not delivering their full potential, for a variety of reasons. Our proposals for better information for public transport users, for better integration between different forms of transport and for easier ticketing can help encourage more people to use trains in the countryside (see Chapter 3).

We also wish to see more local initiatives, particularly community-rail partnerships, where local businesses get involved in packages to promote leisure and tourism by rail and more regular use by local people. The support of local authorities can also be critical in developing local stations as hubs of economic activity and social interaction.



The Esk Valley Partnership

Focuses on the Middlesbrough-Whitby line and is funded in part by the European Union, local authorities, Regional Railways North East and the Rural Development Commission. Achievements include:

  • improved publicity and signposting of stations;

  • greater co-operation between rail and bus operators;

  • a residents' railcard giving discounted travel;

  • on-train events; and

  • school and community projects, with 'adoption' of stations by community groups.

 

The Countryside Commission is running consultancy research to test new ideas for rural interchange sites called 'Staging Points' aimed at bringing transport back to the community. These sites will be places in the countryside and urban fringe with some car parking, such as rail stations, village halls, community centres, leisure and visitor attractions. These places would provide the focus for a greater variety of opportunities to interchange and link to other transport networks might be provided, including the provision of bicycles and better bus and taxi services. Added value will come from community-centred design of transport and from local enterprise services such as home shopping distribution and cycle hire or repair.


Raising awareness and informing choice
We will support individual and community choice by improving information and awareness of the impacts of different ways of travelling. We will promote a climate where the effects of those choices, on the individual, on their environment and on others, are better understood.

Many local authorities have travel 'awareness' campaigns, often with quite limited resources. Their main aim is to increase recognition among local people that there is a need to reduce the environmental impacts of car use. The campaign provides a climate in which specific measures aimed at achieving this, whether voluntary or through regulation or charging, can be accepted. We strongly welcome these initiatives.



Most local authority campaigns are branded under the logo 'TravelWise'. Some local authorities have given particular emphasis to encouraging young people to be environmentally aware; for example, by making the most of opportunities in the school curriculum to consider environmental issues.

Travel awareness campaigns

  • TravelWise'-a local authority travel awareness initiative, started by Hertfordshire. Activities include local advertising (local radio, leaflets etc), working through local groups, schools packs, plus public transport travel information. A National Travelwise Association was launched in March;

  • 'Don't Choke Britain'-a national campaign held in June each year: encourages car commuters to try something different at least one day a week in June-to use public transport, cycle, walk, share a car or travel at outside the rush hour. Acts as an umbrella for other campaigns including National Bike Week, Walk to School '98, Green Transport Week and the Car Free Day;

  • Association for Commuter Transport-develops and promotes sustainable travel initiatives, provides employers with advice, education and training opportunities and a forum for exchanging ideas and best practice.

The results of two EU-funded projects, INPHORMM3 (for which the University of Westminster is project co-ordinator) and CAMPARIE4 (in which Transport and Travel Research (UK) is a partner), will develop our understanding of the effectiveness of local awareness campaigns, and help to get the most out of them. Local authorities' action is given additional weight and impetus through Government funded campaigns at the national level, such as the 'Going for Green' campaign and the 'Are You Doing Your Bit?' campaign launched in March 1998.

Are You Doing Your Bit? by

  • leaving your car at home for at least some journeys;

  • walking and cycling more and making more use of buses and trains;

  • getting a garage to tune your car properly and making sure tyre pressures are correct.

Going for Green

  • a Government-supported campaign to inform people of lifestyle changes that can make a difference. It has produced a five point Green Code of steps that everyone can take, including one on transport;

  • this year the Green Code is being promoted by 'theme months': 'Travel Sensibly' is in June, when Going for Green plays a key role in the 'Don't Choke Britain' campaign.



We will continue to fund publicity campaigns at the national level to raise awareness of how small changes in personal behaviour and lifestyle can make for a better environment. We will look for fresh ways to highlight the link between individual consumption and the threat to global climate as well as to the quality of the local environment. Campaigns will aim to show that changes in travel behaviour which are good for the environment do not involve lifestyle sacrifices and will stress the personal benefits, including those for health, of using cars less.

A New Direction
This White Paper signals a new direction for transport in which everyone must play a part if we are to succeed. Many of the changes can start immediately and, as we have illustrated in the examples of good practice, much can be achieved without the need for legislation. Over the longer term, new sources of funding will provide a further impetus to these reforms.

We cannot expect people, business and communities to make changes in their own use of transport if they do not understand what difference it makes. We are committed to the reforms set out in this White Paper and we will publish information on how successful the new approach is, measured against our targets and objectives, over the coming years.

We should not wait another 20 years before reviewing transport policy. The Commission for Integrated Transport will play an important role here - in monitoring progress, in bringing together different interests and in advising on further action in the light of changing circumstances - some of which we cannot now foresee. Through this process, we will be able to update and review the strategy and measures set out in the White Paper in the light of developments, to secure the changes that we all want to see. This will be a vital part of our New Deal for transport.

The New Deal for Transport will make a big difference to all our lives.


1. Copies available from ACBE Secretariat: 0171 890 6568.

2"Changing Journeys to Work. An employers guide to green commuter plans." Transport 2000, supported by London First.

Annex
Contents
ANNEX A - Future publications

ANNEX B - Consultation on integrated transport policy

ANNEX C - Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution

ANNEX D - "Transport: The Way Forward"

ANNEX E - Trunk road network

ANNEX F - Rail network pinch-points


Annex A - Future publications
Integrated Transport Policy - associated publications
The following papers will set out in more detail the proposals in the White Paper and are expected to be published shortly.

  • Trunk roads policy: outcome of the reviews for England and Wales

  • Railways policy: a response to the third report of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee on the proposed Strategic Rail Authority and railway regulation

  • Bus policy

  • Charging policy: a consultation paper on implementing road user charging and workplace parking charges

  • Shipping policy: a response to the recommendations of the Working Group on Shipping

  • Freight policy: a paper on sustainable distribution

  • Road safety policy: strategy and targets for beyond 2000

  • Guidance on local transport plans

  • A report on inland waterways


Other relevant documents to be published include:

  • A response to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution's report, "Transport and the Environment - Developments since 1994"

  • A consultation paper on Climate Change

  • A report on the review of the National Air Quality Strategy

  • A revised strategy for Sustainable Development

  • Consultation on draft or updated guidance for:

  • producing better development plans, describing how they integrate with local transport plans (revised PPG12)

  • the new approach to regional planning (new PPG11)

  • land use and transport (revised PPG13)

  • An action plan to encourage walking Progress reports from the Cleaner Vehicles Task Force

ANNEX B - Consultation on integrated transport policy1
Integrated Transport Policy - associated publications
Between 21 August and 14 November 1997, the Government carried out a major consultation on the integrated transport policy throughout the UK. Over 7,300 responses were received in a written consultation and a number of consultation meetings and seminars were held throughout the UK. Analysis of the written responses and of comments made at the meetings has shown that there is a clear consensus on a number of issues:

  • there was overwhelming agreement that it is time for a change in the direction of transport policy. People want more choice;

  • many people wanted more and better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists and for walking and cycling to be treated as modes of transport in their own right;

  • a significant number of responses emphasised the health benefits of a reduction in car use. Many wanted to see people walking and cycling more, for road safety to be improved and for people who do not have a car to have better access by public transport to jobs and services. Others were concerned about transport's impact on local air quality and on noise levels;

  • there was a high level of support for better public transport. A general plea for more investment in transport was also made. Many respondents thought that an increase in investment could come from new, dedicated sources of income like congestion charging and a tax on private non-residential parking spaces. Businesses, local authorities and other key organisations in particular wanted money raised through these measures to be spent on transport;

  • there was a general recognition that rural areas have particular transport problems which needed to be considered carefully;

  • most people accepted that we cannot tackle congestion and pollution by simply building more roads. Many regions did, however, want 'bottlenecks' tackled, local road safety to be improved, some bypasses to be built and better traffic management;

  • many wanted to see less freight moved by road and more to be moved by rail or coastal shipping. They also wanted existing regulations on, for example, lorry weights, speed and drivers' hours to be enforced more effectively. In addition, there was general agreement that better enforcement of vehicle standards, traffic speeds and parking restrictions would have an immediate impact and would help to improve local air quality, road safety and congestion;

  • it was stressed that transport must be integrated with other policies, particularly with land use planning which has an important role to play in reducing people's need to travel; and

  • there was general agreement by local authorities and transport professionals that carefully aimed education and awareness campaigns could be effective ways of changing people's attitudes about cars and could make using public transport or cycling or walking more acceptable alternatives.


ANNEX C - Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
"Transport and the Environment - Developments Since 1994"2
The RCEP's twentieth report on transport and the environment set out its views on the future direction of transport policy. The main conclusions were that:

  • forecast traffic growth is economically, environmentally and socially unacceptable;

  • fuel price increases and improvements in vehicle technology so far planned will not in themselves bring about the requisite improvements in air quality or reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases;

  • there is a need for rapid innovation in vehicle technology; better integration of public transport systems; better integration of transport and land use planning; better traffic management policies; and policies to encourage modal shift.

The Commission's detailed conclusions included:
FUEL EFFICIENCY AND EMISSIONS

The Government should make more use of economic instruments to encourage use of fuels which are less damaging to the environment, and to reduce fuel consumption. It should set increasingly challenging targets for reducing transport carbon dioxide emissions and, if necessary, support EC legislation to limit carbon dioxide emissions from cars.


INTEGRATION OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT

An integrated public transport system - primarily focused at the local level, though with appropriate recognition of the regional dimension - would offer many advantages. It requires reliability and quality, with availability of connecting services and physical provision for them; priority for public transport within the road network; good information about timetables and fares; through ticketing; and provision for people with reduced mobility.



Buses should have a central role in an environmentally sustainable transport system, and local authorities need stronger powers to ensure they provide a quality service.



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