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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We therefore intend to ask the Commission for Integrated Transport (see Chapter 4) to consider the case for allowing 44 tonne lorries, on 6 axles, for general use in the light of the results of the review of the basis of lorry VED rates and evidence from interested parties including the rail freight operators and industry generally. In bringing forward its recommendations, we will ask the Commission to consider the best solution consistent with our approach for integrated and sustainable transport; in particular, whether there are measures that could be adopted to mitigate the potential impact on rail freight, including phasing of the introduction of 44 tonne lorries to allow more time for rail operators to expand their markets. We will also ask the Commission to consider whether there is scope for limiting any extension to 44 tonnes to lorries with the highest standards of emissions. We would not envisage the implementation of 44 tonne lorries before 2003. It is our intention to give railways the chance to develop the heavy load market.

Further discussion of the lorry weights issue, along with our detailed proposals for measures to improve the efficiency of lorries and to mitigate their effects on the community and on the environment, will be set out in our forthcoming paper on sustainable distribution.

Quality Partnerships for freight
We will promote the development of Quality Partnerships for freight between the road haulage industry, local authorities and business. The aim will be to develop understanding of distribution issues and problems at the local level and to promote constructive solutions which reconcile the need for access for goods and services with local environmental and social concerns. This will build on existing experience such as 'Delivering the Goods', a joint initiative on urban distribution by the Local Government Association and the Freight Transport Association.

In our towns and cities, measures aimed at shifting lorry traffic away from the morning and afternoon peak hours could help to alleviate congestion and make better use of local networks. But it is also essential to minimise and avoid increasing disturbance to residents through out-of-hours deliveries.

The Traffic Commissioners play a central role in the regulation of lorries through their oversight and enforcement of the operator licensing system, which ensures that vehicles are safe and properly maintained, and that operators are fit and proper people to carry out their business. In exercising this role, the Traffic Commissioners' knowledge of the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) industry, their independence and their regional base, are particular strengths that we wish to retain and build on.
Suitable traffic for suitable roads
The efficient distribution of goods and services must be weighed against concerns about the quality of the urban and rural environment for the people who live and work there. There is substantial concern about the problem of 'rat-running' by large lorries, especially in rural communities. We agree with these concerns. Lorries should not travel on unsuitable roads unless they have to use them for collection or delivery. There is an established network of primary routes which lorry routeing should follow.

We will work with the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association to develop and publicise their 'Well Driven' scheme which is currently being extended to vans. This scheme provides a mechanism for people to complain about insensitive or irresponsible behaviour by lorry and van operators and drivers, including rat-running on unsuitable roads.

Bringing forward strategies to keep lorries away from unsuitable areas will be critical issues for local authorities in preparing their local transport plans. Under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, local authorities already have powers to prohibit or restrict lorry access, but in certain cases may need the approval of the Secretary of State. We will look at ways of improving and streamlining these arrangements.

There may also be scope for reducing the number of lorry and van movements by promoting greater consolidation of loads and drawing on the experience of 'City Logistics' systems18 where goods destined for city centres are diverted into common transhipment facilities with local distribution being carried out using specialised vehicles which may be smaller, quieter and less polluting. We will learn from the experiences gained in Europe from operating such systems.

Where environmental and noise concerns have led to lorry restrictions some firms have already responded with the use of alternatively powered vehicles.

More environmentally friendly lorries

  • BOC has vehicles powered by liquefied natural gas. They produce fewer emissions than diesels and are considerably quieter. The project benefits from a 50% grant from Energy Saving Trust's Powershift initiative;

  • Marks and Spencer use quieter, gas powered vehicles to deliver at night in Kensington and Chelsea as an exception to a night-time ban;

  • J Sainsbury is experimenting with a solar powered refrigeration unit, replacing diesel power to cut noise and pollution.

Sustainable air freight
The increasing demand for rapid distribution of goods will continue to put pressures on air freight services and in turn on airports and associated infrastructure, adding to the pressures from growth in passenger traffic. The rapid growth of air cargo services and their wider economic, environmental and social significance requires further examination. We will commission new research to inform future policies on the air freight industry. The research will:

  • assess the current development of the sector, including its economic importance and wider impacts;

  • provide a better basis for forecasts of its future growth and the implications for demand for services and market change;

  • support the development of the new national airports policy, which will set the framework within which the industry can plan for the future with greater certainty.

Sustainable shipping
The decline in the British merchant navy was accepted by the previous Government as the inevitable outcome of market forces. But the international market is significantly distorted by the effects of cut-price shipping and foreign subsidies.

We will take a strategic view of the role of shipping and the wider maritime-related industries in the national economy so as to determine Britain's future maritime needs and how those may be secured. Our policy will be based on a broader, long-term vision of the importance of British shipping to the nation. We will establish a clear set of objectives with firm commitments to action agreed jointly by the industry, unions and Government.

This integrated shipping policy will have four broad aims:

  • to facilitate shipping as an efficient and environmentally friendly means of carrying our trade;

  • to foster the growth of an efficient UK-owned merchant fleet;

  • to promote the employment and training of UK seafarers in order to keep open a wide range of job opportunities for young people and to maintain the supply of skills and experience vital to the economy;

  • to encourage UK ship registration, to increase ship owners' identification with the UK, to improve our regulatory control of shipping using UK ports and waters and to maintain the availability of assets and personnel that may be needed in time of war.

We are committed to working with the shipping industry to develop its potential to the full. We set up a Shipping Working Group last year to consider how to obtain the maximum national economic and environmental benefit from shipping. The Group reported in March with a range of proposals on seafarer training, employment, the fiscal environment and opportunities for UK shipping. Our response to these proposals and our strategy for reviving the shipping industry will be published shortly.
Making better use of coastal shipping and inland waterways
Research19 has indicated that there may be potential to divert about 3.5% of the UK's road freight traffic to water, split between ships re-routing to ports nearer to the origin and destination of their loads and the potential for bulk and unit loads to shift to coastal traffic.

We intend to bring forward legislation to extend the application of the freight grant regime to include coastal and short sea shipping, reflecting a recommendation of the Shipping Working Group. We will consult on the details, including the costs which would be eligible for grant and the criteria to be used in assessing applications.

We will also encourage greater use of inland waterways, where that is a practical and economic option. We will re-examine the rules of the freight grant regime with a view to encouraging more applications for inland waterways projects. We want to see the best use made of inland waterways for transporting freight, to keep unnecessary lorries off our roads.

In addition to carrying freight, inland waterways also have an important role to play in providing leisure and tourism opportunities and can provide a catalyst for urban and rural regeneration.

Our revised planning guidance will encourage more freight to be carried by water. Local authorities in their development plans will be expected to consider opportunities for new development which are served by waterways.

Thames 2000

Aims to establish new passenger services on the River Thames for the Millennium Exhibition at Greenwich and leave a lasting legacy of improved infrastructure and services. It has three key aspects:

  • new passenger services, announced in March, including links to the Millennium Experience

  • express services from dedicated London piers;

  • shuttle service linking Greenwich town with the Millennium site;

  • ... and longer term legacy services

  • a 'hopper' service linking key central London destinations;

  • an express service to central London;

  • a programme of infrastructure works to create up to ten new piers at key locations on the river, modernise existing piers and improve linkages with other public transport;

  • a new London Transport subsidiary - London River Services Ltd - to own and manage key piers on the river and promote, license and co-ordinate passenger services on the Thames, to help ensure that river services are integrated into transport plans for the capital.

The River Thames is a greatly under-used asset in London. It has potential for passenger transport and for freight, including aggregates and the transfer of waste. We are working to unlock this potential, through Strategic Planning Guidance for the Thames and through our Thames 2000 initiative which will establish new passenger river services by the Millennium. We will also ensure that use of the river is more fully integrated with other transport services in London, especially bus services.

Better integration of airports and ports
Integrated airports

As recommended by the Transport Select Committee in May 199620, we will prepare a UK airports policy looking some 30 years ahead. This will develop the application to UK airports of the policies set out in this White Paper - of sustainable development, integration with surface transport and contribution to regional growth.

It will provide the framework within which those concerned can plan for the future with greater certainty. We will consult widely in preparing the new policy and will take account of the Inspector's report on the Heathrow Terminal 5 inquiry.

The policies we bring forward for civil aviation, as for other forms of transport, will reflect our strategy for sustainable development. This means aviation should meet the external costs, including environmental costs, which it imposes. We must tackle the effect of civil aviation and airports on the environment (see Chapter 4).

The new airports policy will take account of the demand for airport capacity for scheduled, charter, business and freight aviation and the related environmental, development, social and economic factors. It will be taken forward in conjunction with airspace capacity issues and with consideration of surface access provision, particularly better public transport access. It will also consider ways, whether by economic or regulatory measures, of improving the utilisation of existing capacity, where this might be desirable; and it will take into account possible future developments in European legislation, for instance on runway slot allocation and airport charging.

The new policy will reflect the different roles and competitive strengths of the nation's airports. The largest and busiest airports serve the whole country or a large part of the country, and offer frequent direct services to a wide range of destinations. Many airports thrive on serving a more local area, with a combination of direct services where the demand is sufficient and connections to major international hub airports. Less congested airports, such as Luton, Stansted and most regional airports, can also be attractive to the new generation of low-cost airlines.

Each airport cannot be viewed in isolation from other airports. Airports both compete with each other and complement each other to some extent. A good example of this is Manchester and Liverpool: we welcome the co-operation between these airports which has developed during the last year. The new airports strategy will consider how each region might best be served by the combination of the available airports in the region; and, how regions and their airports, for example in the North and Midlands, might work together to realise the potential of airports away from the congested south east of England.

The policy will draw on new studies of the role of airports in economic development to gain a better understanding of the underlying relationships. These studies will focus on both aviation opportunities and the link between air services, economic growth and regeneration in specific local circumstances.

Role of Regional Airports

  • SW England study - underway, expected to report by late 1998;

  • studies to be carried out in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Midlands and the North of England: phased programme starting summer 1998 and reporting in 1999; tudies will be carried out in close consultation with local authority representatives and other interested organisations, including Regional Planning Conferences.

Taking account of the emerging findings of these studies, we will encourage the growth of regional airports to meet local demand for air travel where consistent with sustainable development principles. The aim is to:

  • maximise the contribution which they make to local and regional economies;

  • relieve pressure on congested airports in the south east of England;

  • reduce the need for long surface journeys (particularly by road) to south east airports.

We have recently announced proposals to encourage international flights to regional airports through a policy of greater liberalisation. We have decided that open access to all UK airports, except Heathrow and Gatwick, should be offered to all of our bilateral air service partners, provided that UK airlines are also allowed to operate on the same routes. This change will allow both UK airlines and airlines of the country concerned to operate to and from that country on such routes without restrictions on capacity or frequency, and without the need for international aviation negotiations to establish such services. This will enable UK and foreign airlines to plan the development of services with confidence that future growth will not be limited by bilateral restrictions.

We have also announced proposals to free soundly-financed local authority airports from public sector borrowing controls. This relaxation will greatly assist major regional airports to invest and expand when this is commercially justified. It will allow them to compete for business on a level playing field with private sector airports.

We will also press for recognition in the revised EU regime for slot allocation, of the case for maintaining access from the regional airports into major hubs such as Heathrow and Gatwick.

Airports are key interchanges and major employers. Improving access to them by public transport will help to reduce congestion and pollution on nearby roads.

Our consultation demonstrated a clear willingness on the part of the aviation industry and other interested parties to tackle the problems of airport accessibility. Airports such as Heathrow and Manchester already have programmes to improve public transport access. These are designed to get passengers and employees to use their cars less by improving the public transport alternatives.

As managers of some of the nation's largest public transport interchanges, airport operators will be well placed to make a positive contribution to integration. We will therefore expect airport operators to be partners in implementing surface transport initiatives to improve the quality of the public transport journey to their airports. The support of airlines using the airport is also important.

Manchester Airport
The airport's 'regional transport strategy' has a vision of integrated transport based on partnership to:

  • increase public transport use by passengers and staff from 10% in 1992 to 25% by 2005;

  • develop high quality ground transport interchange - construction of the first phase, a bus and coach station, begins later this year;

  • improve the airport's rail connections - building on the frequent direct rail services to many major towns and cities in the North and Midlands;

  • develop and promote a green commuter plan to increase environmental awareness among its employees.

The needs of surface access to airports should be considered as part of the wider transport strategy for the local area. Airport-related transport issues must be integrated with, not divorced from, local transport problems and opportunities.


Local transport plans should reflect the wider transport role defined for airports in regional strategies. To complement this work, we consider that all airports in England with scheduled passenger services should lead an Airport Transport Forum. Some of the larger airports have found these groups valuable in ensuring co-operation between all those interested in the development of surface transport serving the airport.

Funding local improvements

  • some measures require only minimal funding (eg shared taxi schemes). Other improvements can flow from modest start-up funding (eg new bus routes or park and ride schemes). Some proposals, even those which would be commercially viable in the longer term, may require substantial development finance (eg new rail links);

  • possible sources for funding include:

  • from the aviation industry - where a scheme is viable or there are wider benefits to the industry;

  • for airports to levy a surcharge on car parking charges;

  • with both options we would expect the proceeds to be applied to public transport improvements or measures to mitigate the undesirable impacts of road traffic to and from the airport.

We envisage that local authorities, including the Passenger Transport Authority where applicable, would participate in the Airport Transport Forum which should have three specific objectives:

  • to draw up and agree challenging short and long term targets for increasing the proportion of journeys to the airport made by public transport;

  • to devise a strategy for achieving those targets, drawing on the best practice available. This is likely to involve a wide range of measures to address the needs of all those travelling to airports. Bus and coach services should be included as well as rail. This means that the management of traffic on local and trunk roads will be an important issue for some airports. We would hope to see strategies agreed by late 1999 and fed into the development of local transport plans;

  • to oversee implementation of the strategy. Implementation should include green transport plans to cover commuting and business travel for all employees based at airports.


Integrating airports into the wider transport networks also means developing the connections to national and regional rail and coach services to reduce the present reliance on private, road based transport. While the new core national route network in England recognises the importance of airport connections, we will be looking for opportunities to facilitate public transport links to airports, with a particular focus on improved rail access.

Improving access to the UK's major hub airports by rail from other regions has the potential to attract feeder traffic away from roads (or even air) and bring environmental benefits. The Strategic Rail Authority will consider rail schemes that address deficiencies in direct airport links to the national network and encourage the development of regional and long-distance feeder services. We will make improving rail access to airports one of its aims.

Major new rail infrastructure is expensive. Links to thriving airports will have to compete against other claims on Government expenditure. We would expect the aviation industry itself to contribute funding for improvements, taking account of the extent that it benefits.

BAA working to integrate airports

  • linking Heathrow to the national rail network - £440 million investment in the Heathrow Express to improve links with the national rail network and increase the proportion of the airport's passengers on public transport from a third to BAA's target of 50%;

  • attracting airport staff on to buses - BAA has increased the quality, frequency and reliability of Heathrow and Gatwick local bus services to persuade the airport's staff to leave their cars at home. A pump-priming strategy has led to nearly a threefold increase in passengers;

  • Stansted rail links - a local service between London and Stansted has recently been introduced by West Anglia Great Northern to complement the SkyTrain express service. A service to Stansted from Birmingham has resulted from partnership discussions between BAA, Essex and Cambridgeshire County Councils and Central Trains Ltd;

  • the Heathrow Area Transport Forum - a forum of local transport authorities, key local businesses and transport operators co-ordinating transport policy across the area;

  • Heathrow travelcard - an innovative travel card which entitles 56,000 staff working at Heathrow to discounts of up to 80% on 17 bus and coach services.

Better integration of airports and ports

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