Memorandum submitted by Campaign to Protect
Rural England Peak District & South Yorkshire Branch (CPRE
CPRE exists to promote the beauty, tranquillity
and diversity of rural England by encouraging the sustainable
use of land and other natural resources in town and country. Traffic
can have a profound impact on the countryside and people's enjoyment
of it. It is visually intrusive, noisy and intimidates pedestrians
and cyclists. It creates greenhouse gases which then impact indirectly
though climate change on the countryside.
CPRE PDSY AIMS TO
protect and enhance the countryside
by reducing the impact of surface and air traffic to
enable people to access the countryside
of South Yorkshire and the Peak District and ensure that rural
communities (including those without access to a car) are able
to access services, without compromising their unique environmental
and cultural characteristics
reduce the need to travel throughout
South Yorkshire and the Peak District.
The Committee asked for comments under the following
1. What progress is the DfT making against
key carbon reduction targets or forecasts included in the Ten
Year Plan (2000), the Climate Change Strategy (2000), the 2004
Transport White Paper, the 2004 PSA, Powering Future Vehicles
(2004), and other documents?
2. Is the DfT's carbon reduction target underpinned
by a coherent strategy stretching across the department's entire
range of activities; does the current balance of expenditure between
the DfT's objectives (as revealed in its 2005 departmental report,
Annex A) adequately reflect the environmental challenges it faces?
3. What realistically the DfT could achieve
by 2010 and 2020 in terms of reducing transport-related carbon
emissions, and the role that demand management should play in
doing so; what specific steps the department should now take to
reduce road transport carbon emissions and congestion over the
CPRE PDSY'S COMMENTS
We have responded to the Inquiry with our local
and regional experience of the Highways Agency's contribution
to the DfT targets.
Road transport contributes 20% of all CO2
emissions or 40 million tonnes of carbon (MtC) per year. The Highways
Agency's traffic on the strategic highway network contributes
about a third of all traffic. We have been particularly concerned
about trunk road improvements in our area due to the traffic,
and consequently carbon emission, increases that they would bring.
In July 2004, the DfT was given, with the DTI
and DEFRA, a shared Public Service Agreement target to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to 12.5% below 1990 levels and move towards
a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions below 1990 levels
We have seen no evidence of any contribution
towards this target or of a coherent strategy from either the
Agency or the DfT to address this commitment. CPRE PDSY has been
campaigning since November 2004
for an answer as to how the Highways Agency, as part of the DfT,
would contribute towards reducing CO2 emissions. As
a committee member, we received a copy of The Changing Climate:
Impact for the DfT. This document identifies the climate changes
that can be expected in the next 20-80yrs but concerns itself
only with the DfT's adaptation to those changes by responding
to existing, and preparing for future, weather. We were told that
the Agency is procuring 15% of its energy from renewable sources
and saving 68Kt of carbon emissions through new lighting equipment.
The Agency's Business Plan 2005-06 makes no
reference to the need to reduce CO2 emissions but focuses
on relieving congestion through major improvements to the network,
managing traffic and technological advancements. Its trunk road
programme was estimated by 2010 to generate 0.1Mt of carbon or
five times the emissions expected to be saved by increased rail
passenger use, or the same as all the savings brought about by
local transport improvements.
The Highways Agency's Influencing Travel
Behaviour programme aims to reduce congestion by changing
travel behaviour. The amount that would be spent on this is not
made explicit in the Business Plan for 2005-06 but in 2004 it
employed four people and had a budget of £50,000 to cover
the whole of England.
By contrast the Agency plans to spend £589 million on major
improvements to the highway network.
Two examples in our Branch area demonstrate
how the Agency continues to progress road schemes that increase
traffic and CO2 emissions. A bypass of the trunk road
A57/A628the Mottram Tintwistle bypass, has been
planned since the late 1980s and progressed to draft line orders
despite fundamental changes to transport policy. The scheme would
result in substantial increased traffic flows in the year of opening.
On some roads in the area traffic flows would increase by up to
124%. The bypass would not contribute to reducing travel by private
car and is predicted to increase CO2 emissions by an
extra 4,669 tonnes/yr in 2010.
In March 2005, the Secretary of State for the
DfT announced on-line widening of sections of the M1 and M62.
According to the Appraisal Summary Tables, traffic levels on these
motorways would rise from 111,302 AADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic)
in 2004, to 148,999 AADT by 2014. These traffic increases would
be accompanied by a net increase in CO2 emissions of
136,938 tonnes/yr of CO2.
Although these outputs appear small (less than
0.02% and 0.6% respectively of national CO2 emissions)
these two trunk road schemes are but two schemes in a list of
nearly 80 schemes. They would undermine the achievement of Government
policies and targets for reduction of carbon emissions, and investment
in public transport use and measures to change attitudes to behaviour
which are essential if the UK is to meet its CO2 targets.
7 Highways Agency Northern Environmental Committee
meeting November 2004. Back
Transport 2010: The Background Analysis; fig 16, page 32; published
April 2001. Back
Pers.comm. Ian Smith Highways Agency. Back
A57/A628 Mottram-Tintwistle Bypass & A628/A616 Route Restraint
Measures Volume 2a, Table 8-13. Back