A new deal for transport: summary

A new deal for transport: summary
A new deal for transport................................................................................................3
A new deal for transport: better for everyone...........................................................12
Acknowledgements for photographs ..........................................................................13
Privatisation and deregulation have dominated transport policy for 20 years. The result has been a
decline in bus and rail services and over reliance on the car. The effect of noise and pollution is
damaging people's health and the quality of life in towns and cities. The countryside is being
eroded and we are damaging the wider environment, even changing our planet's climate. A
consensus for radical change in transport policy has emerged. That is why, in our Manifesto, we
promised an integrated transport policy to fight congestion and pollution.
I have now published our policies in a White Paper: this is our summary of what we propose to do and what it means for you.
We cannot go on as we were, trying to build more and more new roads to cope with growing levels
of traffic. Instead, we must have:
more real transport choice
better buses and trains
a better deal for the motorist
better maintained roads
a railway working for the passenger
more money for public transport
more freight on the railway
safer and more secure transport systems.
We can change. For example, just a small increase in bus passengers can transform the economics
of bus services, leading to more frequent running and higher quality buses.
These new policies put transport at the heart of our priorities and show our commitment to develop
better places to live and work.
We now look to you all to work with us in shaping a new future for transport in the UK.
John Prescott
A new deal for transport
"We will safeguard our environment, and develop an integrated transport policy to fight congestion
and pollution."
Labour Party Manifesto, 1997
Transport has enriched our lives ...
Our quality of life depends on transport. Nationally, we need an efficient transport system to
support a strong and prosperous economy. As individuals, we rely on it for travelling to work, to go
shopping, or to visit family and friends. We use it for all kinds of leisure, from a visit to the cinema
to a holiday abroad.
Cars in particular have revolutionised the way we live, bringing great flexibility and widening
horizons. In our vision of a prosperous United Kingdom, where prosperity is shared by all, more
people will be able to afford a car.
... but there is a price
The way we are using our cars has a price - for health, for the economy and for the environment.
In Britain, we have fewer cars than in most other countries in the European Union, but we drive
more miles and use public transport far less. Our roads are among the most congested.
The convenience of the car is eroded by congestion and driving itself is increasingly stressful. As
traffic emissions grow, we are even changing the very climate of our planet.
The mood is for change.
The true cost is worrying people ...
Business is concerned about congestion undermining competitiveness. The CBI estimates the cost
at £15 billion a year. People are worried about pollution and noise, the erosion of the countryside
and the threat to their health and the wider environment.
Road traffic is adding substantially to the local air pollution that is damaging health and hastens the
death of thousands each year. In the UK, road transport is also the fastest growing contributor to
climate change - the greatest environmental threat facing the international community.
... and it keeps going up
Over the next twenty years, we face dramatic increases in traffic. Left unchecked, car traffic could
grow by more than a third and van and lorry traffic is forecast to grow even faster.
Unless something is done, this means more traffic jams, not just in the cities but in country towns
too. Rush hours will become longer. The tranquillity of the countryside will be further eroded.
Driving will become even less of a pleasure and the costs to business will soar. There will be more
damage to the environment and our health will suffer.
We cannot go on as we are
Simply building more and more roads is not the answer to traffic growth. The policy of 'predict and
provide' didn't work.
Road Traffic Forecast
National road traffic forecasts based on pre-White Paper policies
There is less choice ...
For many people using a car is now no longer a choice but a necessity. Nowhere is this clearer than
in the many rural communities with no daily bus service.
Three in ten homes in Britain don't have a car. For those who have to rely on public transport it is
all too often inadequate. Privatisation and deregulation of public transport failed the passenger
because they fragmented networks and ignored the public interest. As motoring costs have fallen in
real terms, bus and rail fares have gone up.
Increased traffic and speed have made streets feel less safe. Children aren't as free as they were to
play, or to walk or cycle to school on their own. Twenty years ago, nearly one in three children
from five to ten years old made their way to school by themselves. Now only one child in nine does
... people want action
In a major consultation exercise, people made clear that the time for action is long overdue. People
want more choice, more alternatives to using their cars and more reliable journeys when they do
drive. They want a better public transport system that doesn't let them down. They want better
protection for the environment and they want less pollution because they are worried about their
That is why we have adopted a new, integrated transport policy. This is our New Deal for transport.
A New Deal for transport
We want a transport system that is safe, efficient, clean and fair. We need a new approach, bringing
together the public and private sectors in a partnership which benefits everyone. We want to ensure
that companies have incentives to provide new services and raise standards, that taxpayers' money
is spent wisely to make public transport available for all and that services are properly regulated in
the public interest.
The way forward is through an integrated transport policy. This means integration:
within and between different types of transport, so each works properly and people can make easy
connections between them;
with the environment, so that our transport choices cause less damage;
with land use planning, to support more sustainable travel choices;
with our policies for education, health and wealth creation, so that transport helps to make a fairer,
more inclusive society.
An integrated transport system is not just an aspiration. There are already some successful local
initiatives which point the way - against the grain of national trends over the last twenty years.
What has been lacking is strategic direction and support, and this is what our New Deal will supply,
starting with the way we plan.
Better planning locally ...
The key to integration is to plan for it locally as well as nationally, which is why we are introducing
local transport plans as a core part of our proposals. Local authorities will set out their strategies
for transport and their long term targets, for instance for improving air quality, road safety and
public transport and for reducing road traffic.
They will have new tools, including road user charging and levies on workplace parking, to tackle
congestion and pollution. The money raised will help fund other transport improvements.
These new powers must be used as part of clear transport strategies which have the backing of local
communities. We will certainly want to begin with some trial, pilot schemes.
We will also revise the planning guidance to local councils to improve town and country planning
and reduce reliance on the car.
A good example is the new Millenium urban village in Greenwich, designed so that local services
are within walking distance and public transport links are convenient.
... and better planning nationally ...
We'll support local measures with a national framework for integration.
First, we are making an historic shift in road investment, giving top priority to maintaining and
managing our existing road network and getting it to work better.
Secondly, we shall address the problems of fragmented rail services by creating a new Strategic
Rail Authority to provide a unified vision and promote the interests of passengers and freight
We shall prepare a new UK airports policy, in keeping with our general aim of sustainable
development, integration with other transport provision and contribution to regional growth.
Finally, we shall establish an important new independent Commission for Integrated Transport to
advise on integration at national level and act as a force for change.
... to widen choice ...
Our guidance to local authorities will make clear we want higher priority for walking, cycling and
public transport, improved facilities for people to make connections and better information for
Better connections: bus and tram interchange in Manchester.
... giving a better deal for cycling and walking
Local transport plans will set targets for increasing walking and cycling. These will be achieved by
such things as giving priority at junctions to reduce waiting times, maintaining cycle lanes and
footpaths properly and reallocating road space to cyclists and pedestrians where appropriate.
Safe crossings and secure cycle parking at shops and stations can all help make a significant shift in
local travel patterns.
Good practice on school routes in Warwick
the Myton cycleway makes it possible for the first time to cross the River Avon between Leamington
and Warwick by cycle and on foot;
it links major housing areas on the north side of the river with three large schools on the south side;
it has reduced traffic and emissions at school times and offers students and residents a healthier travel
... better buses
Bus priority in Edinburgh
Too often buses have been treated as second class transport. It doesn't have to be so. They can be
modern, comfortable and clean.
By giving buses greater priority and improving route and timetable information, we can encourage
more people to use them. If more people use buses, further improvements in comfort and frequency
become affordable for operators.
We plan a national public transport information system and to build on Quality Partnerships which
are already proving effective in a number of towns around the country. Local authorities provide
traffic management measures, such as bus lanes and priority at junctions, which make journey
times more reliable. Operators offer in return a better quality service in terms of comfort,
accessibility, staff training and environmental measures.
Award winning bus station in Birkenhead
While bus journeys outside London have reduced by 25% over the last ten years, Quality
Partnership corridors have increased use by 10 to 20% and even by 40% where there are special
measures to segregate bus traffic.
We shall introduce legislation to give a statutory basis to Quality Partnerships. Where this is
insufficient, we shall give local authorities powers to enter into more exclusive Quality Contracts
for bus routes operated to their own service specification and performance targets.
Some rural areas have also benefited from similar co-operative arrangements, but addressing their
different needs. There will, in addition, be special funding for buses in the countryside.
Good practice: putting buses first
"Greenways" in Edinburgh:
cut average journey times by 25% on the all-day Leith Greenway and by 10% on the peak hour
Corstorphine route;
attracted 250,000 extra passengers in six months on these two routes.
... better trains
Complaints about rail services are at an all time high. Passenger rail operators received nearly one
million last year.
Through the new Strategic Rail Authority, we will bring coherence to the railway system and
ensure it meets the needs of passengers and the freight customers it serves.
Improved interchanges and connections between rail services and between rail and other means of
transport, including walking and cycling, are essential to an integrated system. We want to see
effective networks with simplified fares and better marketing, including more through-ticketing and
Passengers rightly demand better services and more accountability from train operators. We are
willing to re-negotiate existing rail franchises where this would secure benefits for passengers and
value for money for the taxpayer.
... better safety and personal security
We want people to be able to travel safely and without fear for their personal security. Pedestrians
and cyclists should not be intimidated by traffic; parents should not have to drive their children to
school because they worry about their safety; women and older people should feel safe to use
public transport after dusk. Bus and rail stations in particular should be made attractive, safe places
for people to gather.
Nationally, we shall carry out a root and branch review of transport safety. As part of the review,
we shall publish a new road safety strategy and targets to reduce casualties. We shall include a
major review of speed policy and changes in drivers' hours legislation.
Reducing crime, and the fear of crime, is a major Government priority.
Locally, we shall encourage initiatives such as school travel plans, which establish safer routes for
children to walk or cycle to school.
Good practice fights fear of crime
The Secure Stations Scheme establishes the first ever national standards for station security. All
3,000 stations covered by the British Transport Police can apply to be accredited. Criteria include:
trained staff and close-circuit surveillance;
rapid response in emergencies;
regular inspection and maintenance;
better lighting and secure fencing;
passenger confidence and low crime rates over a sustained period.
... and a more inclusive society
Because access to transport can be a matter of social justice we want high quality public transport
designed for everyone to use easily. We must provide for the particular needs of women and
disabled people and ensure a minimum standard of concessionary fares for elderly people.
We want to tackle the downward spiral of disadvantage in deprived areas, where difficulties in
getting to jobs combine with other social and economic problems. Better transport is an essential
building block of our New Deal for Communities which will extend economic opportunity, tackle
social exclusion and make life better in some of the most rundown neighbourhoods in the country.
As well as prosperous towns and cities we want a thriving countryside with real jobs and
opportunities. So where there is development it should be planned to support communities. We
know that transport needs vary widely within and between rural areas. The problems of remote
island communities in Scotland are very different from rural villages in the South East of England.
So will be the solutions.
Post bus in Lutterworth, Leicestershire
Good practice in Belfast
Europa Buscentre and Great Victoria Street Railway Station, Belfast has an integrated bus and rail
facility in a fully accessible environment for disabled people. Design features include low level
counters at booking offices, low level public telephones, textphone facilities, tactile flooring, high
contrast signage, an induction loop, parents room and toilets for disabled customers.
It means moving goods sustainably ...
We want a reliable and efficient transport system that supports our economic future, jobs and
wealth, but we want to reduce the extent to which a healthier economy results in road traffic
We want a real increase in the use of rail freight. The new Strategic Rail Authority will encourage
the shift. We shall extend freight grants to include coastal and short sea shipping, an efficient and
environmentally friendly means of carrying trade. Inland waterways too can make a useful
We appreciate that much freight must still travel by road and plan to publish detailed proposals to
improve the efficiency of lorries. We shall honour our EC obligation to allow 40 tonne lorries to
operate in the UK, but we are developing a strategy to encourage hauliers to use lorries with six
axles instead of five, as they cause less damage to roads and bridges.
At a local level, much can be achieved by co-operation between local authorities and freight
operators on lorry routing and delivery hours, keeping lorries off unsuitable roads and avoiding the
most congested times of day.
... giving better protection to the environment
We want to preserve and enhance our environment: the places where we live and work, our built
and natural heritage and our richly diverse countryside.
We have promised a major effort to reduce greenhouse gases and will encourage greener, cleaner
vehicles through offering tax incentives and enforcing higher standards. We shall also need to
reduce the rate of road traffic growth. Where its environmental damage is worst, we want to see an
absolute reduction in road traffic and a shift to other modes made possible by the improvements
and wider choice our policies will bring about. We shall give priority protection to precious wildlife
and areas of special importance.
... but being fair to the motorist
The New Deal for transport is about widening choice, not forcing people out of their cars. Anyone
who meets the required standards will have the right to hold a driving licence and own and use a
We shall publish a new Road User's Charter, reflecting the changed role of the Highways Agency
and outlining its commitment to customer service, including better information for the driver before
and during journeys. The shift of emphasis to maintaining, improving and managing the existing
road network will benefit all drivers.
As part of the Government's action to tackle car crime, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
will use its records to offer drivers better information and protection when buying a used car.
In addition, we shall take steps to reduce the disruption caused by utilities' street works and to curb
the activities of 'cowboy' wheelclampers.
We must share the decisions ...
We want local people and business to have a real say and real influence over improving transport.
Local authorities will be expected to consult widely and involve their communities and transport
operators in the decisions they take.
Different parts of the UK will have different transport priorities. We are meeting the demand for
decentralisation of power. Many decisions will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh
Assembly and the Assembly for Northern Ireland and to the new Mayor for London and the Greater
London Authority.
In the English regions, integration between transport and land use planning will be strengthened
and will include the role of regional airports and ports as well as railways and roads.
... and the responsibility
Our New Deal for transport sets the framework for change. We will provide the new powers and
extra support needed to make it happen, but we cannot do it alone.
We want to create partnerships at all levels, to help business, local authorities and local
communities to come together and respond to the challenge.
Much will depend on each one of us as individuals. We cannot leave it to others to bring about the
changes that are needed. We have a shared responsibility.
It doesn't take much to make a difference ...
We are not asking for great sacrifices. If more people went to work by public transport and more
children walked or cycled to school, this could make a big impact on rush hour traffic. If we all left
the car at home just once out of the ten or so shopping and leisure trips we make from home each
month, we would eliminate most of the projected increase in traffic this year.
Small changes by individuals can add up to major improvements for us all.
Number of journeys
... but there's a better future to be gained
It won't happen overnight, but if we work together we can create a modern, integrated transport
system to revitalise towns and cities, improve rural links and support economic prosperity while
protecting the environment.
Above all we can make quality places to live where people are the priority.
A new deal for transport: better for everyone
Local transport plans
Bus Quality Partnerships
virtuous circles for improving services and reversing the decline in use
extra help for rural buses
Strategic Rail Authority
better provision for pedestrians and cyclists
priority for public transport
pilot charging schemes to fund local improvements
making the privatised railway work for customers
National public transport information system
the information to plan seamless journeys
Maximum half price bus fares for elderly people
Revising planning guidance
Better deal for motorists
to reduce the need to travel
including better information and road maintenance and action on unscrupulous traders
Commission for Integrated Transport
to keep up the momentum for continuing improvement
A New Deal for transport: better for everyone
This booklet is a summary of the Government's White Paper. Copies of the full document are
available from The Stationery Office priced £16.50. It is also posted on the internet on our web site
at www.dft.gov.uk
This summary is also available in large print and on audio tape and the text has been translated into
the following languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu and Chinese (Cantonese). Please contact
the Transport Strategy and Awareness Division, DETR, Great Minster House,76 Marsham Street,
London SW1P 4DR if you would like a copy in one of these formats.
Welsh language copies are available from Mike Dunn, Welsh Office, Transport Policy Division,
Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF1 3NQ.
Acknowledgements for photographs
Cycle lane and child cyclists copyright SUSTRANS
Congested road and bus priority lane courtesy of Alan Laughlin, City of Edinburgh Council
Cyclist courtesy of the Highways Agency
Birkenhead bus station courtesy of Merseytravel
Wheelchair user copyright GMPTE 1998
Freight on inland waterway courtesy of British Waterways Photolibrary