Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence



  The RDRF welcomes:

    —  The change away from previous transport strategies by recognising the unsustainability of increasing car use, and the desirability of less dependence on the private car.

    —  The encouragement for local authorities to pursue their own strategies based on local needs.

    —  The importance accorded to land use planning.

    —  The focus on different types of integration in transport strategy.

    —  The potential for local authorities to spend money derived from forms of taxation on car use.

    —  The endorsement of the National Cycling Strategy.

    —  The review of policy on speed.

    —  The intention of not achieving a reduction in casualties by having fewer vulnerable road users in the road environment.

    —  The commitment to take enforcement of at least some parts of road traffic law seriously.

    —  The consideration of children's ability to walk or cycle to school.

    —  The consideration of re-allocation of road space from cars to pedestrians.

  We are, however, concerned that the vision of integrated sustainable transport which is in many places apparent in the White Paper will not be fulfilled because:

    —  There are insufficient instruments, whether through law enforcement, fiscal measures or land-use planning to ensure that the goal of a sustainable integrated transport system is achieved.

    —  This is further exacerbated by the apparent lack of urgency in passing necessary legislation.

    —  There is no commitment to traffic reduction, merely to reduction in it's growth.

    —  There is a lack of understanding that increasing car ownership tends to lead to increasing traffic.

    —  Excess motor traffic is seen as primarily an urban problem, rather than a problem which also has severe implications for rural areas.

    —  Without clearer controls and assistance local authorities will be unable to control the problems of excessive car use, and will see themselves as being the recipients of problems which could have been addressed more thoroughly at the level of central government.

    —  The Government continues to see safety as being analogous to absence of casualties from road crashes, despite an awareness that lack of casualties is not only different from, but can coincide with danger rather than safety.

    —  There may be insufficient controls on the extent and nature of road freight use.

    —  There has not been consideration of large retail outlets for inclusion in potential car taxation schemes.

    —  There has not been adequate recognition of the magnitude of the hearts and minds element of awareness raising about transport issues with the associated investment required.

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