Memorandum by the Saffron Walden and District
Friends of the Earth (IT 68)
THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEGRATED TRANSPORT WHITE
We welcome the White Paper and its objectives
and are in full agreement with most of the proposals. We do however
consider that there needs to be a greater sense of urgency in
the implementation of the proposed measures. Traffic is increasing
at an alarming rate and apart from the inconvenience and pollution
that is already being caused, there is a Government commitment
to meet the targeted reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide by
the year 2010. This will not be achieved unless the existing vehicle
traffic is reduced, as opposed to a reduction in traffic growth
as referred to in the White Paper.
We therefore emphasise the need to carry out
in the very near future:
1. The establishment of a Commission for
Integrated Transport, and a Strategic Rail Authority, needed
if improvements in the rail service are to be achieved.
2. The setting of a target for Traffic Reduction.
Targets stimulate policies. A 10 per cent reduction by the year
2010 is feasible and necessary.
3. The proposed powers to enable Local Authorities
to introduce changes in their areas, including fiscal changes,
should be introduced before the Authorities have completed drawing
up Traffic Reduction Plans, as are already required by the recent
Traffic Reduction Act. Such powers will clearly influence local
policies. Plans should initially be drawn up at the lowest effective
level (i.e., usually District level) and subsequently integrated
at County and Regional level.
Local Authorities will need expert advice, possibly
from the RDA, but the advice should be given by a suitably qualified
Traffic Consultant, and there is a case for requiring RDAs to
appoint such a Consultant.
4. Fiscal measures should be extended to
enable LAs to impose parking charges on retail and leisure centre
parking as well as other non-residential parking.
5. Considerably increased licence fees should
be levied on large cars with high fossil fuel usage with low fees
for small cars and cars and lorries using "green" fuels.
This seems to be a fairer way of discouraging excess fuel use
than a steep rise in the tax on such fuel.