Despite announcing a 15 per cent spending cut in the transport sector in October, the coalition government has had a change of heart and unveiled plans to create a new pot of money for green methods of transport.
A white paper titled, “Creating Growth, Cutting Carbon “is set to be presented to Parliament on Wednesday, in which Transport Minister, Normal Baker, sets out his agenda in greater detail. As part of the plans to encourage greener travel, the government will allow local authorities more autonomy in making decisions regarding local transport and promoting enterprise and innovation. However, the initiatives will not solely rest with local government, with the coalition taking steps to encourage Brits to use other methods of travel rather than just the car, such as walking, cycling or public transport.
The government recognises that any scheme has to fit in with modern lifestyles, making it easy to get to work for example, while still cutting carbon emissions. One of the reasons previous attempts to encourage a move away from the car has been unsuccessful is because of the lack of accessibility and the increased cost. But the government hopes that by taking a new and innovative approach, the nation’s car drivers might be willing to consider alternatives, especially if they prove to be cheaper than using a car, more important than ever during the difficult economic times. Yorkshire provides a good example of a working scheme where trainees and apprentices are provided with the use of a motorbike to enable them to accept job offers which are inaccessible without transport. Car pool and car share schemes are another example of viable alternatives which help the pocket, with many already in operation.
Mr Baker said, “A good transport system is vital in our efforts to deliver two key government priorities: to help grow the economy and reduce carbon emissions.”
This article was written by Blair Endersby, IVA Specialist