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Railhub Archive
1995-06-12 DoT-001
Department of Transport


Mawhinney shows the way ahead

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Department of Transport

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Department of Transport

Mawhinney shows the way ahead

12 June 1995
source Department of Transport
type Press release

note 176

The transport debate entered its second phase today when Transport
Secretary, Dr Brian Mawhinney announced proposals to publish a report
setting out the way forward for Britain's transport policy.

Dr Mawhinney outlined the framework for the national debate on
transport policy to continue and published a compilation of his
speeches on transport policy. Speaking at a conference in Oxford, Dr
Mawhinney said:

"I have published these speeches so that everyone can reflect upon
the issues and let me have their views. Once I and my colleagues
have considered the responses the Government will publish a further
report which draws together the threads of the debate and sets out
the way forward for Britain's transport policy."

Dr Mawhinney's series of speeches examine a range of issues arising
from the interactions of transport issues with the economy, the
environment and personal choice.

The Secretary of State called for the debate to enter a new phase in
which groups with different views on transport get together to
discuss the issues raised in his speeches, then send him their
conclusions. The Secretary of State said:

"There is no shortage of people shouting slogans. The challenge now
is to find common ground on which to build a transport strategy for
the twenty first century. I welcome the fact that the environmental
pressure groups are starting to speak to supporters of road building
programmes; much more of this sort of debate needs to take place.

Dr Mawhinney stressed that there will be no policy vacuum while the
debate continues. He said:

"The Government has been active in pursuing a range of significant
measures aimed at striking a balance between the three perspective of
promoting industrial competitiveness, environmental protection and
preservation of choice."

The Government is committed to developing balanced policies and in
the speeches Dr Mawhinney draws attention to the main areas for

- Is the present balance right between promotion of economic growth,
protection of the environment and support for personal choice?

- If the balance needs to be shifted (for example, towards greater
environmental protection or towards enhancing competitiveness by
reducing road congestion), what measures need to be taken and how
will they achieve their stated objectives?

- Are we prepared to accept the wider consequences (for the
environment, for personal choice, for industrial competitiveness,
jobs and the economy as a whole) of any such measures?

A number of seminars and discussions have already taken place around
the country in response to the Secretary of State's speeches. Dr
Mawhinney is calling for further informed dialogue among
organisations and groups with differing views.


1. Dr Mawhinney was speaking at a conference on Transport and the
Environment organised by the Environmental Change Unit of the
University of Oxford.

2. A list of the main questions arising from Dr Mawhinney's speeches,
and on which he has asked for views, is attached.

3. Copies of Dr Mawhinney's speeches: 'Transport: The Way Ahead'
can be obtained from:

Transport Policy Unit
Department of Transport
Room P2/048
2 Marsham Street



1.Which of the environmental impacts of transport give greatest cause
for concern? How much further should we be trying to reduce those

2. Should we be trying to limit the increase in traffic growth, as
well as tackling the impacts of traffic?

Passenger travel

3. What aspects of personal choice in transport are most valued? To
what degree would it be acceptable to limit those choices for the
sake of environmental benefits? (Responses to these questions should
take particular account of responses to further questions given

4. Would people be prepared to accept restrictions on car use in
return for an improved environment and better health? What
combination of regulations and pricing mechanisms would offer the
best results?

5. What measures could be taken to make public transport services,
especially under-used existing services, more attractive?

6. What could be done to encourage more walking and cycling? How
much impact would such measures have on road traffic levels?

Freight transport

7. What practical measures might be available to reduce the growth in
lorry traffic? What would be the consequences of such measures for
industrial competitiveness?

8. Is it accepted that road freight prices do not currently meet the
full costs incurred (including environmental costs)? What would be
the effect on the freight market and on industrial competitiveness of
pricing mechanisms that reflected the full costs?

9. Is there scope to alter business practices (such as 'just in
time' delivery and centralisation of production) which can increase
traffic levels?

10. What measures would reduce the number of empty lorry journeys?
How could lorry movements in sensitive areas (such as town centres)
be reduced in cost-effective ways?

11. What plausible increases might be expected in rail freight and
waterborne freight? What would be necessary to achieve them?


12. Are we prepared to introduce significantly tougher measures to
improve the environmental performance of individual vehicles, even if
this raises their price or reduces their performance in other ways?

Transport Infrastructure

13. Should we be prepared to accept a reduced level of road
infrastructure building in the future for the sake of the
environment, even if this leads to increased congestion? Could these
effects be alleviated by measures to affect the demand for road

14. How clear is the evidence that industrial competitiveness is
linked to particular levels of road infrastructure?

Town Centres

15.How essential is road traffic to the vitality of different town
and city centres? How can we better manage traffic in towns? Is the
balance right between out-of-town and town centre developments?


16. The Royal Commission proposed a number of targets for reducing
the impact of transport on the environment, though it did not
identify how these targets would be achieved. Are targets of this
kind desirable? And can they be justified by reference to the
specific measures that would be necessary to achieve them?


17. What would be the effects on the consumer of any measures
suggested in answer to the questions above? What would be the
effects on jobs?

18. How can any measures suggested in answer to the questions above
be made consistent with the Government's policy of reducing gross
Government expenditure as a proportion of gross domestic product?
Which measures are most cost-effective?

19.To what extent can private finance be mobilised to help implement
these measures?

Overseas Experience

20.What can we learn from experience abroad of measures to reduce the
impacts of transport?

Railhub Archive ::: 1995-06-12 DoT-001


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