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Railhub Archive
1996-04-25 DoT-001
Department of Transport


Transport: the way forward – Sir George Young sets out a vision for the future

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Department of Transport

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Department of Transport

Transport: the way forward – Sir George Young sets out a vision for the future

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25 April 1996
source Department of Transport
type Press release

note 129

The first transport policy document for nearly two decades was
published today by Transport Secretary, Sir George Young.

The Green Paper, Transport: The Way Forward, sets out the Governments
response to the national transport debate.

It contains more than 20 key measures based on:

-better planning of transport infrastructure;
-making better use of existing transport systems;
-reducing car dependence, especially in towns;
-switching emphasis from roads to public transport; and
-reducing the impact of road freight.

The central message is that traffic growth, and its impact on
congestion and pollution, is a major issue which must be addressed in
a more strategic way than in the past.

Announcing publication, Sir George Young, said:

Transport touches almost every part of our lives: it brings huge
benefits through personal freedom and helps increase national wealth.
But people have been growing concerned about congestion on the roads,
and the problems of traffic noise and pollution.

This Green Paper sets out the Governments assessment of the future
for transport in the UK, and the measures which need to be taken to
meet the differing demands of the economy, the environment and the

Sir George Young added:

Traffic growth, and its impact on congestion and environmental
pollution, were key issues emerging from the national debate. This
Green Paper tackles these issues directly.

The Government recognises that, without additional measures,
currently forecast levels of traffic growth will lead to increasingly
severe congestion and pressures on the environment and, in that
sense, will not be sustainable indefinitely.

We also recognise the central importance of maintaining a transport
system which provides business with an efficient means of moving
goods and raw materials around the country. We need to put more
weight on public transport in our future spending decisions. At the
same time, future spending on roads will focus increasingly on
managing the network and providing much needed bypasses.

The Government firmly believes that a strong economy and a healthy
environment can complement each other.

The Green paper includes more than twenty specific areas for action.
Among the most important measures are:

- a new system of planning for trunk roads, so that they
can be considered as part of a wider strategy and to smooth out
- new powers for local authorities to manage traffic
- tougher standards for new vehicles, making use of new
- increased powers for local authorities to reduce
- tougher enforcement of safety and environmental
- an independent examination of the links between
- new initiatives to promote the use of the bus; and
- wide-ranging discussions with industry on measures to
improve the efficiency of business transport.

Sir George noted:

"It is clear from the measures we propose that there is a major role
for local authorities in taking forward many of the initiatives. The
Government wants to work very closely with local authorities, who
have the best knowledge of local needs and problems."

The Secretary of State highlighted the major progress made in the
last few years, with significant public investment, firm measures to
tackle the environmental impact of transport, and increasing
involvement of the private sector in transport operations.

Among the most significant achievements were:

*investment of over #24 billion in trunk roads and motorways since

*#15 billion invested in national railways since 1979, allowing major
developments such as the electrification of the East Coast Main Line;

*#7 billion invested in London Transport; Government support for new
light rail schemes in Manchester and South Yorkshire;

*Tighter vehicle emission regulations, which will mean that by 2005
many pollutants will have fallen to less than half their 1990 levels
in urban areas;

*reduced growth in carbon emissions from transport, as a result of
higher fuel duties. The UK is on course to meet its target of
returning emissions to 1990 levels by 2000; *new arrangements for
local transport funding encourage local authorities to take a more
strategic view of local needs; *successes of privatisation for the
airline industry; for ports and airports; for coaches and buses; and
for road freight;

*extension of the benefits of privatisation to the rail industry,
with over one third of the industry now in private hands, and
customers already feeling the benefits of the new approach to rail

Besides detailing specific new measures, the paper addresses the
underlying principles of transport policy, and in particular sets out
the reasoning behind the Governments policy that transport users
should, as far as possible, pay their full costs.

Sir George continued:

The Green Paper puts particular weight on the recommendations of the
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) 1994 report,
Transport and the Environment, which played a major part in getting
the transport debate off the ground

1. Copies of Transport - The Way Forward are available from HMSO
price #15.70 (ISBN 0-10-132342-5). A summary version is also

2. The paper concentrates on domestic, surface transport in England.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has produced a statement
on transport priorities there; the Secretaries of State for Scotland
and Wales intend to publish transport policy statements later.

# = pounds sterling

Railhub Archive ::: 1996-04-25 DoT-001


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