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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A range of measures will be needed from the transport sector. These will form an essential part of a balanced approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Of the initiatives in the New Deal for transport, those directed at improving the fuel efficiency of all vehicles on our roads, especially those which target the fuel consumption of the cars we drive, have the greatest potential to reduce transport CO2 emissions. Reducing the overall rate of road traffic growth and local action designed to achieve a switch to less fuel intensive forms of transport will also play an important part.

EU Member States have agreed a strategy for reducing CO2 emissions from new cars, with the aim of achieving a reduction of more than a third by no later than 2010. This strategy alone has the potential to reduce forecast road transport CO2 emissions in the UK by 8-14%19. But these improvements critically depend on the way we respond as car buyers. Motoring taxation also has an important role to play, by providing the right incentives for those decisions.

The main aim of our motoring tax strategy is to encourage people to buy more fuel efficient models and to invest in regular maintenance and fuel saving technologies. For example, recent analysis by the AA suggests that car owners can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from their cars by as much as 5% by fitting low rolling resistance tyres20.

Tackling congestion will also help improve the fuel efficiency of urban travel and reduce the impact of UK road transport on climate change. Even cautious estimates21 suggest that fuel consumption, and therefore CO2 emissions, are at least 10% higher on urban roads and 25% higher in the centres of our largest cities as a result of congestion.

The impact on emissions of the New Deal for transport depends on how quickly packages of measures to tackle congestion can be brought forward and implemented by local authorities. The potential gains are large. They can lead to absolute reductions in local traffic levels by promoting transfers to public transport and improvement in the fuel efficiency of the vehicles that remain. We estimate that getting the right transport packages in place locally, backed by road user charges, could deliver reductions of up to 20% in road traffic CO2 emissions in the centres of our busiest cities22.

The overall contribution of the measures set out in this White Paper towards reducing UK road traffic CO2 emissions will depend on a great many factors, in particular the way in which local authorities, businesses and all of us as individuals respond to the lead it provides. Against this background, estimating a range for the potential savings is difficult.

We have based our analysis on the 1997 National Road Traffic Forecasts. Our work to date therefore includes the reduction of 14% in CO2 emissions which is implicit in these forecasts, when compared with those published in 1995 for CO2 emissions and shown in the earlier chart, 'transport's contribution to global warming'. What our work shows is that, even without a major change in behaviour, with the key measures in the New Deal for transport, there is the potential to reduce forecast 2010 road traffic CO2 emissions by 22-27%23. Other measures in the New Deal which are less easily quantified will add to this. With a step change in attitudes even greater reductions are within our grasp.

Martin's story

The New Deal for transport

I drive to work. It's frustrating, though. The traffic is terrible and getting worse. I try to find new routes but there's no way to avoid it.

I do a lot of car journeys with my work, seeing clients and so on. I'm often late because of roadworks. And the state of the roads after they've finished is a disgrace.

You can suddenly hit really bad traffic with no chance to take a different route.

Better traffic and road management will help to cut congestion. The Highways Agency is developing a 'Toolkit' of ways to keep the traffic moving. We want to ensure there are decent alternatives to the car.

We will give priority to maintaining the roads we have before we build new ones. And we are looking at ways to improve co-ordination between utility companies for essential streetworks.

We are working with the private sector to improve information systems on traffic problems, both before you set off and while you are driving.

Making a difference: on traffic and congestion

Increased traffic and congestion is at the heart of many of the problems we face. Local traffic authorities are already required to consider setting targets for traffic reduction in accordance with local circumstances. The amount of traffic on our roads will be a powerful indicator of how things are going, at both national and local levels. We agree with the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution that national targets for the reduction of road traffic must have a clear and specific justification in terms of the environmental benefits they are expected to achieve, and must represent the preferred and most effective method of achieving those objectives.

We will therefore assess the broad impact on national road traffic levels of the measures we are proposing and, in the light of that assessment, consider how national targets can best help. The question of national targets for road traffic reduction has been debated by Parliament in the context of the Road Traffic Reduction (National Targets) Bill. In considering national targets, we will seek advice from the Commission for Integrated Transport, the new independent body that we will set up to review progress on implementing our integrated transport policy (see Chapter 4).

We know that the New Deal for transport will make a difference at the local level. Analysis based on studies in cities such as Edinburgh, Bristol and London points to a reduction in public and private transport peak journey times of as much as 20-25% in the centres of the largest urban areas by 2010. This reduction in congestion would bring benefits to business and the environment. This underlines the conclusion of the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA) in its interim report24.

Making a difference: on local air quality
We estimate that European initiatives aimed at tightening vehicle and fuel standards have the potential to reduce busy central urban area road traffic nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 67% and particulate emissions by up to 70% below 1996 levels by 2010. Action at the local level, bringing together user charges and complementary public transport packages directed at tackling congestion and bus and freight Quality Partnerships directed at promoting cleaner buses and lorries25, have the potential to deliver further significant savings. Further reductions in particulate emissions of up to a half appear possible.

Reducing urban road traffic emissions will make our towns and cities healthier places in which to live and work, bringing benefits in particular for those suffering from respiratory disorders including the increasing number of children with asthma. Better air quality will also benefit drivers and passengers who are currently exposed to high levels of pollution in busy city centres.

Making a difference: a more inclusive society
The New Deal for transport will produce a step change in public transport bringing significant benefits to both town and country with better mobility for all in society. The measures we are introducing will tackle the transport needs of women, disabled and elderly people and people on low incomes. Reducing road traffic in city centres will make it easier for local authorities to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians.

Joe's story

The New Deal for transport

I'm a pensioner and I've never had a car. I've always used the bus. The service isn't too bad but it's pricey. Our local council doesn't have a pensioners' pass scheme.

Once you get into town, the traffic is terrible. You have to be fairly quick to get across the crossings.

The New Deal will mean a half fare pensioner's bus pass. That will be the minimum guarantee. Councils can have more generous schemes if they wish.

There will be more pedestrianised streets in town centres and more space for people who walk. We will encourage councils to design crossings so that people are not forced to deal with difficult subway crossings or bridges.

Making a difference: through extending the range of targets
We will help to draw up new targets - for example, for promoting public transport. In doing so, we will balance the costs and benefits of such targets and seek advice from the Commission for Integrated Transport on the form they might take.

At the same time, we will publish new indicators so as to allow progress to be measured. For example, in England a series of indicators is being developed by the Highways Agency to report on the performance of the trunk road network. We have already published our first report on "Transport Trends", containing key indicators covering a wide range of transport topics: for example, on the use of different forms of transport, on transport safety, changes in the level of air pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions and road traffic.

We will continue to publish these reports each year so that progress against key indicators can be monitored. The indicators will include breakdowns by income groups, rural and urban areas and by age and gender so that we can monitor the impacts of policies on different groups in society. We will carry out the further work that is needed in some areas to ensure that targets and indicators are appropriate and effective. One such area is noise.

But in most cases we expect targets to be developed as part of coherent regional and local strategies to support integrated transport, rather than being set at the national level. National targets can usefully act as benchmarks and encourage improvement but they do not recognise local variations or draw on local knowledge of what is achievable. We suggest in Chapter 4 what these local targets could include. Drawing up targets regionally and locally will help to sharpen the focus of local policy; complementing the approach we have set for reaching our target in England to build 60% of new homes on previously developed land26.

Sue's story

The New Deal for transport

I live in London and use public transport a lot. But I am worried about safety. You read about attacks and muggings on trains and stations. I don't like using them at night. I prefer to use the car because it's safer.

We will improve safety at stations and on public transport. We will encourage better lighting in stations and at station car parks. We will extend the use of CCTV. We will review security on trains with the operators.

  1. the most commonly used working definition of sustainable development - taken from "Our Common Future", (The Brundtland Report) - Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, Oxford University Press, 1987 ISBN 0-19-282080-x

  2. ."Our Healthier Nation. A Contract for Health", Cm 3852, 1998. ISBN 0-10-138552-6. "Working together for a healthier Scotland", Cm 3584, 1998. ISBN 0-10-138542-0. A Welsh Green Paper will be issued shortly.

  3. ."Quantification of the Effects of Air Pollution on Health in the UK", Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, Department of Health, 1998.

  4. in the National Air Quality Strategy.

  5. "Road user exposure to air pollution", a literature review published on behalf of DETR by Environmental Transport Association, 1997. ISBN 1-873906-14-5.

  6. I Roberts and C Power, BMJ volume 313, 1996.

  7. "Road transport and health", British Medical Association, 1997.

  8. "The Non-Auditory Effects of Noise", Institute for Environment and Health, 1998..

  9. Office for National Statistics Labour Market Statistical Group.

  10. see Railtrack's "Network Management Statement", 1998.

  11. from the visual survey of the "National Road Maintenance Condition Survey 1997": the condition of roads in England and Wales was the worst recorded since the survey began in 1977.

  12. time spent at 0 mph in a queue of traffic or spent waiting at traffic lights or road junctions. Taken from "Traffic Speeds in Central and Outer London: 1996-97", DETR, Statistics Bulletin (98) 17.

  13. some 10,500 hectares in England changed to highways and road transport uses (public car parks and bus stations). Taken from Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions' Land Use Change Statistics.

  14. Transport CO2 emissions. Source DTI EP65 central forecasts which are currently being revised for publication later this year.

  15. The Central Rail Users' Consultative Committee (CRUCC) is the statutory consumer organisation representing the interests of rail users nationally. Figures on complaints taken from CRUCC press release 9/98, dated 4 June 1998 and commentary from CRUCC press release 3/98, dated 16 March 1998.

  16. Third Report of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee, Session 1997-8, on the proposed Strategic Rail Authority and Rail Regulation, House of Commons paper 286-I, March 1998.

  17. "Car dependence", a report for the RAC Foundation for Motoring and the Environment by ESRC Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford with RDC Inc, San Francisco, 1995. ISBN 0 86211355 5.

  18. this and the other stories in this Chapter are composite pictures drawn from the widespread public consultation exercise and are designed to illustrate the concerns that people have about transport."

  19. compared to estimates based on the 1997 National Road Traffic Forecasts with unchanged traffic assumptions. The analysis assumes that the EU objective of reducing average (sales weighted) new car CO2 emissions to 120 grammes per kilometre is achieved in the UK by 2005 or 2010 at the latest.

  20. "Tracking CO2 emissions from UK Home and Cars", Automobile Association, December 1997.

  21. based on analysis using the framework developed for the 1997 National Road Traffic Forecasts and estimates produced by the Highways Agency of the impact

  22. from analysis based on the 1997 National Road Traffic Forecasts and published studies of local packages based on central area cordon charges and complementary public transport improvements for locations such as Bristol, Edinburgh and London.

  23. compared to the 1995 CO2 emissions forecasts referred to above, and including the impact of the 1997 National Road Traffic Forecasts.

  24. "Transport Investment, Transport Intensity and Economic Growth: interim report", SACTRA, 1997.

  25. for example by encouraging operators to fit particulate traps.

  26. "Planning for the Communities of the Future", Cmd 3885, 1998. ISBN 0-10-138852-7.

Chapter 3 - Integrated Transport
More Choice

Making it easier to walk

Making it easier to cycle

More and better buses

A better railway

Better for passengers

More rail freight

Better local railways

Better for the motorist

Moving freight

Getting to the airport

The role of motorcycling

More integrated public transport
In pursuit of the seamless journey

Fares and ticketing

Physical interchange

Timescale co-ordination and service stability

Passenger information

Better taxis

Travelling without fear

Accessible transport for disabled people and easier access for all

Streets for people

Integration on local roads

Living in town centres

Quality residential environments

A more peaceful countryside
Making better use of trunk roads


Investment strategy

An integrated network

A core road network

Making better use

The Highways Agency as network operator

Helping the road user

Better information for the driver

More care for the local environment

Better development control

Delivering the goods: sustainable distribution

Improving efficiency

Quality partnerships for freight

Suitable traffic for suitable roads

Sustainable air freight

Sustainable shipping

Making better use of coastal shipping and inland waterways

Better integration of airports and ports

Integrated airports

Airports policy

Airports as interchanges

Local connections

National connections

Integrated ports

Trans-European Networks

Travelling Safely

Road safety

Review of speed policy

Motorcycling Safety

Bus and coach safety

Driver's Hours

Railway Safety

Marine Safety

'Developing an integrated transport policy represents a major shift in direction. We don't just want to stop traffic problems getting worse, we actually want to make things better for people and goods on the move'

John Prescott 1997 

More choice
Making it easier to walk

We are all pedestrians, even if we own a car. Nearly all journeys involve a walk and walking is still the main way of getting about locally. But all too often the things that make walking a more pleasant experience have not been given proper attention, as can be seen in the way road space and priority is so often biased against pedestrians. Too often pedestrians are treated like trespassers in their own towns. We want streets that are decent and attractive to walk in.

Too many of us have given up walking short distances in favour of using the car. We need to reverse that trend for the sake of our own and others' health, and for good environmental reasons.

Our New Deal for transport will make walking a more viable, attractive and safe option. Strategies to make it easier to get around locally by walking will be included in the local transport plans that we will introduce (see Chapter 4).

Reflecting our proposals for 'streets for people' that we describe later in this Chapter, we will expect local authorities to give more priority to walking by:

  • reallocating road space to pedestrians, for example through wider pavements and pedestrianisation;

  • providing more direct and convenient routes for walking;

  • improving footpath maintenance and cleanliness;

  • providing more pedestrian crossings, where pedestrians want to cross;

  • reducing waiting times for pedestrians at traffic signals and giving them priority in the allocation of time at junctions where this supports more walking;

  • dealing with those characteristics of traffic that deter people from walking;

  • introducing traffic calming measures near schools, in 'home zones' and in selected country lanes;

  • using their planning powers to ensure that the land use mix, layout and design of development is safe, attractive and convenient for walking.

Better for pedestrians

  1. pedestrians in Birmingham's Bull Ring shopping centre will no longer get second class treatment;

  2. the Bull Ring redevelopment gives better pedestrian links with the City's main shopping streets, has a new public square and gets rid of the warren of underground subways which people were forced to use previously.

We are working closely with local government and a wide range of organisations to prepare a strategy1 that will provide a framework for action. In addition to supporting and developing this strategy, we will revise existing advice and work with local authorities and others in improving the environment for walking.

We will also encourage local authorities to introduce facilities which make it easier and safer for disabled and elderly people to move about. This will include pedestrian crossings that are fully accessible to all, including people in wheelchairs, and incorporate tactile features and audible signals to help blind and partially sighted people.

We have already made a start in promoting walking, and cycling, as healthy modes of transport through the 'Active for Life' physical activity campaign run by the Health Education Authority.

Safer routes to school

  1. the Myton cycleway makes it possible for the first time to cross the River Avon between Leamington and Warwick by cycle and on foot;

  2. it links major housing areas on one side of the river with three large schools on the opposite bank;

  3. benefits include less traffic at school times, reduced emissions and better longer term health of students and residents.

Making it easier to cycle
The National Cycling Strategy (NCS) published in 1996 highlighted the potential of cycling as a flexible, relatively cheap and environmentally friendly way to travel with important health benefits for people of all ages. We agree. Cycling, however, has been in decline nationally, even though more cycles are owned than ever (and annual sales of bicycles outstrip the number of new cars sold). But this doesn't have to be the case if we make it easier and safer to cycle:


  • in Munich, cycle use rose from 6% of all trips in 1976 to 15% in 1992;

  • in Hanover, cycling has increased from 9% in 1976 to 16% in 1990;

  • in York in recent years about 20% of commuting has been by bike.

The NCS encourages local authorities and others to establish local targets for increased cycle use. A number have already done so and we expect targets to become more widespread as local strategies for cycling evolve. The NCS has established a national target of doubling the amount of cycling within six years (against a base year of 1996) and of doubling it again by the year 2012. We endorse this target. A National Cycling Forum2 has been established to oversee its implementation.

To support the NCS, we are continuing to research innovative measures to improve the safety and convenience of cycling and will publish advice on good practice. We want to see better provision for cyclists at their destinations, at interchanges, in the design of junctions and in the way road space is allocated. In particular, we are looking to local authorities to:

  • establish a local strategy for cycling as part of their local transport plans;

  • institute 'cycle reviews' of the road system and 'cycle audits' of proposed traffic schemes;

  • adapt existing road space to provide more cycle facilities;

  • make changes to traffic signalled junctions and roundabouts in favour of cyclists, giving them priority where this supports cycling;

  • apply speed restraint more widely to support their cycling strategies and provide for cyclists when applying speed restraint measures;

  • increase provision of secure parking for cycles;

  • maintain cycle lanes adequately to avoid hazards to cyclists;

  • use their planning powers to promote cycling through influencing the land use mix, layout and design of development and through the provision of cycle facilities.

Concern about road safety is a major reason for people not using their bikes for everyday journeys. Parents in particular see the dangers for their children of cycling on roads. In many areas radical changes are needed to create safer cycling conditions. Cycling promotion policies therefore need to mesh with those on road safety. Safety should be an additional incentive for action, not a reason for delaying priority measures for cyclists.

We will continue to help with the development of the National Cycle Network being co-ordinated by the transport charity Sustrans. The network will be a linked series of traffic-free paths and traffic-calmed roads providing some 8,000 miles of safe and attractive routes by 2005. By opening up opportunities for people to cycle more, the network will help to create a culture that welcomes cycling as an activity.

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