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Railhub Archive
1995-05-04 DoT-001
Department of Transport


Let's work together to make the network work – Watts tells CBI

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Department of Transport

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Department of Transport

Let's work together to make the network work – Watts tells CBI

4 May 1995
source Department of Transport
type Press release

note 132

John Watts, Minister for Railways and Roads, today asked
industrialists to consider how they could help in getting the best
out of the transport system.

He told a CBI lunch that the Government is pursuing policies which
aim to make transport networks perform at maximum efficiency. He
asked his audience to consider what steps they could take themselves
to contribute to relieving congestion.

Mr Watts commented:

"We are looking for strategies which promote sustainability without
destroying the ability of businesses to compete".

Mr Watts outlined some of the measures which the Government had in
place. He pointed to increased spending on small network
improvements from #73 million last year to #108 million in the
current financial year, and an increased role for the private sector
in network management and maintenance through Design, Build, Finance
and Operate Road schemes.

Mr Watts added that technology was increasingly important in managing
the road network:

"The Highways Agency is developing a number of measures to provide
better information to road users to enable them to avoid delays. The
installation of variable message signs on the M25 is being speeded up
and in 1995-96 we will be spending #58 million on the motorway
communications infrastructure - an increase of 15% over 1994-95."

Mr Watts went on to say that individuals and businesses had an
important part to play. He said:

"The network is congested by the traffic which people choose to put
on it. How far are people prepared to exercise their choices to get
the best results from the system?"

The decisions taken by businesses had an important role to play in
putting less traffic on the network. The Government was not imposing
ways of working on people, but looking to them for solutions.

"I do not want to preach to people about what they should be doing.
I want to point out the opportunities - and to learn what scope there
is to reduce unnecessary journeys.

"For example, I would like to see companies encouraging their
employees to have a real choice about how to travel to work. More
firms are now providing quality facilities for staff who decide to
cycle to work - secure cycle racks, changing rooms, hot showers.

"I hope that increasingly we will see companies in urban locations
contributing to local authority park and ride schemes or negotiating
with bus operators to provide services. For new developments in
particular, this may be preferable to providing car parking for all
employees, which will inevitably increase congestion."

Mr Watts added that these questions were important in the context of
the debate on the future of transport policy launched by Dr Brian
Mawhinney, Secretary of State for Transport.

"Brian Mawhinney has called for a national transport debate. I hope
that we will see more and more examples of best practice in industry
which complement the Government's strategy of making the most of the
network, and at the same time assist in the development of a
sustainable transport system."

# = pounds sterling

Railhub Archive ::: 1995-05-04 DoT-001


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