Memorandum by Ipswich and East Suffolk
Transport 2000 (IT 6)
THE INTEGRATED TRANSPORT WHITE PAPER
The changes indicated in the White Paper are
welcomed as a step very much in the right direction.
2. REDUCTION OF
In the DETR summary there is, on page 18, a
statement which demonstrates a misunderstanding of the problems
facing the country. The second paragraph states "We shall
also need to reduce the rate of road traffic growth. When its
environmental damage is worst we want to see an absolute reduction
in road traffic".
3. The absurdity of this is obvious when it
is known, to take only one example, asthma rates have increased
alarmingly in line with increase in road traffic, since traffic
pollution exacerbates asthma, especially amongst the young and
elderly. In rural Mid-Suffolk a survey has demonstrated the situation
is quite as serious as anywhere else. The University of East Anglia
can confirm a similar impact along the holiday area of the North
Norfolk coast in summer.
4. It is urgent to reduce road traffic for health,
global warming and safety reasons to avoid delays.
5. In this context target setting is an effective
stimulus to action. When measuring road accident casualty numbers
targets need to be related to casualties per mile walked and cycled
if people, especially children, are to be encouraged to walk and
6. Of recent years Suffolk has demonstrated
the benefits gained by implementing a universal village 30 mph
speed limit. These include less noise and greater safety. Bearing
in mind that an adjacent rural county has one of the highest child
accident rates in England (hence one of the highest in Europe)
the importance of the latter cannot be over emphasised. There
have been remarkably few complaints about slower speeds. If it
were decided to reduce village and most housing estate speed limits
to 20 mph, rural roads to 40 mph and non-trunk A roads to 50 mph
there would be an immense gain environmentally with reduced traffic
7. With increasing traffic on motorways and
trunk routes, housing areas close to them not originally seriously
effected by high noise and air borne pollution have reached that
level. There are well established noise levels to measure when
health is likely to be affected. Carbon Dioxide reduction as well
as very much needed population health improvements would follow
if all such areas of road were limited to 50 mph as soon as noise
health risk levels were measured. The importance of dealing with
this problem cannot be over emphasised. It is undoubtedly a major
cause of stress, ill-health and even death. As the effected areas
tend also to experience exceptionally high traffic flows there
is likely to be less queuing once a 50 mph limit is in place.
8. PRIVATE NON-RESIDENTIAL
There is considerable disappointment at lack
of charges for out of town superstores. British food Supermarket
companies yield the highest profits in Europe for their occupation.
This is being achieved at the cost of considerable loss of general
trade in town centres. It may be government is hopeful implementation
of Superstore home delivery services will result in traffic reduction
but unfortunately most Superstores appear to expect a visit to
their store to place orders which will increase traffic.
9. SUSTAINABLE FREIGHT
We greatly welcome this initiative. As Suffolk
boasts the largest container port in the Country and two other
active ports, the sooner improvements are made to the principle
rail freight routes. the sooner we may hope to reduce road traffic
pollution. Increased implementation of piggy back systems and
establishment of an adequate rail freight depot network nationally
will speed up the process.
10. Even Suffolk is experiencing increased aircraft
movements. This is likely to be considerably increased if a closed
USAAF base is re-opened for civilian use, as seems likely. In
these circumstances, unless aviation fuel is soon taxed, pollution
reduction targets will be at risk.
11. COMPANY CARS
Whilst there has been limited recent movement
towards reductions in concessions for company cars it is still
considered these are over-generous if reduction targets are to
be achieved. It has also been mentioned that some excessively
high mileage allowances could indicate a need for controls.
12. TRANSPORT INTEGRATION
It is pleasing to note the emphasis on public
transport integration. There is an urgent need to introduce sufficient
controls to ensure:
(1) Bus and rail services match their timetables
to ensure minimal route delays.
(2) Rail fare systems are simplified. (There
are currently 16 rates for train journeys to the capital from
our County town) and made user friendly (It is inevitably the
infrequent traveller and those of limited means who suffer most
under the present system).
(3) Competition does not result in loss of
There does seem to be public appreciation of
the need for the changes outlined accompanied by personal reluctance
to change modes of travel and adjust to improved systems. It is
our view that full implementation of the White Paper proposals
is unlikely to create change at the required rate to improve the
environment at a sustainable pace, i.e., To use a consultation
period concept, there is plenty of carrot but not enough stick.
D H Dufty
15 September 1998