Click here to go to the following issues:

Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects | UK

ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Click here to go to these sections:

@

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.  

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Development Co-operation policy has been reviewed and changed as a direct consequence of UNCED. New strategies have been introduced to target priority-areas identified by the Prime Minister during UNCED: sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, forestry, energy efficiency, and population.

The UK, following the creation of a new Department for International Development (DFID), will re-focus its international development efforts onto the elimination of poverty and encouragement of economic growth which benefits the poor. This will be done through support for international sustainable development targets and policies which create sustainable livelihoods for poor people, promote human development and conserve the environment.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.  

Status

DFID implements a bilateral programme of development assistance to developing countries, seeks to influence other bilateral donors, contributes to and seeks to influence multilateral development agencies, and promotes consistent policies across government towards developing countries.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.  

Research and Technologies 

The UK participates in the work of the EU, and the Paris and Oslo Commissions to promote the transfer of EST. The UK's Environmental Know-How Fund is a bilateral technical assistance scheme which aims to encourage long term environmental improvement in Eastern Europe, through improving environmental management and institution-building. The budget for this Fund was approximately 2 million for 1995/96. In addition, as a member-state of the EU, the UK has a stake in both the EU and PHARE and TACIS programmes and takes an active interest in their management. (PHARE is the EU's aid scheme for countries of Central and Eastern Europe and TACIS is its counterpart for the countries of the former Soviet Union). The environment is one of the priority sectors under PHARE and environmental projects, including those concerned with EST, are expected to account for 10% of its budget over the next five years.

Following UNCED, the UK launched the Technology Partnership Initiative (TPI) as a practical response to calls by developing countries for increased access to information on environmental technologies. The initiative seeks to encourage transfer of technology and know-how to the rapidly industrialising developing countries by increasing direct business-to-business contacts and by providing business and organisations overseas with information on technology, management techniques and best practices adopted in the UK.

The UK is also contributing to the two year pilot phase of the IEA/OECD Greentie project which aims to provide interested users (mainly developing and newly industrialising countries) with streamlined access to information on "greenhouse gas technologies".

Financing 

The UK’s overseas development assistance budget will increase from £2.4m to £3.2m from 1998/99 to 2001/02, approximately 28% in real terms over three years. The UK’s total contribution to the GEF will be £129.8m for the pilot phase and £89.5m for the second phase.

The UK successfully pressed for a fundamental review of the Heavily Indebted Countries (HIPC) Initiative. The UK played a leading role in agreeing the G7 Cologne Debt Initiative, which calls for a doubling of the debt relief provided under the HIPC initiative and the cancellation of aid loans. The UK has forgiven over £1.2bn (worth £5bn in today’s prices) of developing countries’ aid loans.

Cooperation

DFID is supporting the long-term conservation of tropical forests by helping developing countries to manage their forests sustainably for timber production and for all the other goods and services which forests provide. The UK is supporting approximately 154 forestry projects which are either underway or in preparation at a total cost to the development programme of £128m.

DFID’s Sustainable Agriculture Strategy aims to maintain or enhance the productivity of the land and aquatic resource base in support of long-term food security. It focuses on:

DFID has spent over £260 million on sustainable agriculture projects since 1994/5.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the United Kingdom to the sixth and eighth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 5 October 1999.

| United Kingdom | All Countries | Home |

 

TRADE

 No information is available.  

| United Kingdom | All Countries | Home |

 

 

CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The central institution responsible for policy on sustainable consumption and production is the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations were developed in 1997 to implement aspects of the EC Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. They place obligations on producers of packaging to ensure the recovery and recycling of a quantity of packaging waste in proportion to the amount they place on the market.

The United Kingdom is also seeking a 30% improvement in residential energy efficiency through implementation of the Home Energy Conservation Act, and to achieve a 15% improvement in energy efficiency on government estates over 5 years. The Government launched a strategy paper in October 1997 which aims to achieve savings equivalent to two million tonnes of carbon by 2010 by moving market sectors (for example domestic appliances) towards better environmental performance.

The Government is committed to reducing the proportion of controlled waste going to landfill from 70% to 60% by 2005, and recover value from 40% of municipal waste by 2005. It aims, through the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations, to meet the targets transposed from the Directive: 52% recovery of packaging waste by 2001 and 16% recycling by the same date.

The Government is committed to reducing emissions of CO2 by 20% below 1990 levels by 2010, and will review its targets to take account of the six greenhouse gases included in the Kyoto agreement.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The UK Sustainable Development Strategy is currently being reviewed and a new set of national indicators being developed. The new Strategy and the revised package of indicators will be published together before the end of 1998. Work on developing the new indicators is being carried out by seven advisory groups of experts from within and outside government.

The Government has committed itself to developing a framework for sustainable transport. A number of measures, building on earlier work, are already in place, including a commitment to annual increases of 6% in real terms on fuel duty and implementation of EC Auto-Oils standards in 2000, with further measures likely in 2005. A White Paper setting out an integrated transport policy is planned for spring 1998, which will help protect and enhance the environment, foster a strong economy and promote a more inclusive society. Planning Policy Guidance (PPG 13) has been issued to local authorities on integrating land-use planning and transport, which will also be an important aim of the White Paper on integrated transport.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

Major Groups involved in decision making include business, consumers, central and local government.

Programmes and Projects 

The Government has initiated programmes to encourage the efficient use of energy in all sectors in co-operation with the voluntary and industry sectors. It has supported programmes of insulation for low-income households, including the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme, and has helped fund the work of the Environmental Task Force and for the work of the Energy Saving Trust. Other initiatives include "Wasting Energy Costs the Earth", the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme for business, and a programme to reduce consumption in the public sector. Going for Green", established by Government in 1996, launched the EcoCal computer programme in 1997 to help people measure the effect of their actions on the environment.

Following the publication of a waste strategy for England and Wales in 1995, and work on strategies for Scotland and Northern Ireland, the new Government will be looking at related issues over the coming year, with a particular emphasis on promoting waste recovery and waste minimisation.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.  

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Over the past five years, the Government has also initiated a number of national seminars and debates, sectoral reviews of consumption patterns, national campaigns to raise awareness of sustainable consumption, and has played a leading role in the EC energy labelling and eco-labelling schemes.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.  

Financing 

Through core funding of non-departmental executive bodies, core- and project- funding of charitable organisations, and grant payments to individual households.

Cooperation

A number of initiatives have taken place at EC level, including energy labelling, eco-labelling and public information and awareness campaigns.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the United Kingdom to the sixth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 30 May 1998.

Click here for information on Households, including information on consumption and production patterns.

Click here for information on Waste Management Information (Recycling and Packaging)

Click here for the Substitute Fuels Protocol

Click here for a Consultation Paper on the Waste Strategy for England and Wales.

Click here to access the Producer Responsibility Register

| United Kingdom | All Countries | Home |

 

FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information is available.  

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Economic instruments have an important role to play in influencing travel choice. The July 1997 budget increased the previous Government’s commitment to increase fuel duties from 5% in real terms a year to at least 6%. By 1999/00, Fuel Duties are expected to raise £23.1 billion. The duty on diesel has been increased compared to that on unleaded petrol to provide a fairer treatment when calculated on an energy or carbon basis and to take account of the effects of emissions on local air quality. The duty differential between Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel and standard Diesel has been increased to encourage the use of this cleaner fuel. And tax differentials have been introduced to favour the use of road fuel gases which have much lower emissions, particularly of particulates, than conventional fuels.

The Government plans to reform the Company Car tax regime to discourage the provision of free fuel and provide an incentive for drivers to choose more fuel efficient cars. A discount on Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) was introduced in the 1999 budget for cars with small engines. By autumn 2000, tax rates for new cars will be based primarily on their carbon dioxide emission rates. And VED for lorries has been reformed to discourage the use of heavy lorries and encourage cleaner ones. Vehicle Excise Duties are expected to raise £4.6 billion in 1999/00.

From 2001, the Government will introduce a Climate Change Levy on the industrial use of energy, following the recommendations of a Task Force led by Lord Marshall. This is expected to raise £1.75 billion in the first year. To protect the competitiveness of UK firms, the Government plans to recycle the revenues through a 0.5% reduction in employers’ National Insurance Contributions and to offer significantly lower tax rates for those energy intensive sectors of the economy which agree targets for improving energy efficiency. The Government has also made more money available to promote energy efficiency.

Following public consultation over a review of the operation of the Landfill Tax, the March 1999 budget announced the introduction of a Landfill Tax escalator. The tax rate will be increased by one pound per tonne until at least 2004, when the National Waste Strategy will be subject to a further revision. The Landfill Tax currently raises £0.4 billion per year. The introduction of an escalator will release more tax credits for contributions to environmental bodies and promote recycling.

The UK government also levies a number of charges which aim to discourage environmentally damaging behaviour. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of pollution (HMIP) levies charges on effluent discharges on certain industrial processes and radioactive substances. The National Rivers Authority levies charges on fly-tipped waste and certain air polluting activities. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) levies charges for disturbance to seas, sea beds and tidal water under the Food and Environmental Protection Act 1990. Industrial rationalisation arrangements under the Montreal Protocol: allows firms to trade quotas to reduce the cost of phasing out CFC production.

The Government is examining the scope for using economic instruments to promote sustainable development in other areas. It has recently published research looking at the environmental costs of the extraction of aggregates, such as noise, dust, visual intrusion, loss of amenity and damage to biodiveristy. The Government believes there is a case, in principle, for an aggregates tax. But before coming to a final decision on whether to proceed with a tax, it is pursuing further the possibility of a package of voluntary environmental instruments by the quarrying industry. The Government has also undertaken a consultation exercise in to the possible impact and design of a tax or charge on pesticides use.

The UK government also levies a number of charges which aim to discourage environmentally damaging behaviour. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of pollution (HMIP) levies charges on effluent discharges on certain industrial processes and radioactive substances. The National Rivers Authority levies charges on fly-tipped waste and certain air polluting activities. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) levies charges for disturbance to seas, sea beds and tidal water under the Food and Environmental Protection Act 1990. Industrial rationalisation arrangements under the Montreal Protocol: allows firms to trade quotas to reduce the cost of phasing out CFC production.

The Government is examining the scope for using economic instruments to promote sustainable development in other areas. It has recently published research looking at the environmental costs of the extraction of aggregates, such as noise, dust, visual intrusion, loss of amenity and damage to biodiveristy. The Government believes there is a case, in principle, for an aggregates tax. But before coming to a final decision on whether to proceed with a tax, it is pursuing further the possibility of a package of voluntary environmental instruments by the quarrying industry. The Government has also undertaken a consultation exercise in to the possible impact and design of a tax or charge on pesticides use.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement 

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.  

Status 

The UK Government is committed to ensuring that economic growth takes place in a sustainable way which respects the environment and is fair to future generations. In its July 1997 Statement of Intent on Environment Taxation, the UK Government pledged to use economic instruments to achieve environmental objectives where this is an effective way of doing so. Over time, the Government will aim to reform the tax system to increase incentives to reduce environmental damage. That will shift the burden of taxation from "goods" to "bads". To this end, a number of new economic instruments have been developed.

Financing 

The UK Government is committed to ensuring that environmental impacts are taken in to account in assessing different policy options. Since 1998, the Treasury has produced a table showing the environmental appraisal of Budget measures. Where possible, any environmental effects will be quantified.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.  

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the United Kingdom to the sixth and eighth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 5 October 1999.

| United Kingdom | All Countries | Home |

 

TECHNOLOGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.  

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The UK's White paper on Science and Technology aims to encourage near market research which should stimulate development of new technologies, including environmentally sound technologies (EST), which will then be available for transfer.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available.  

Programmes and Projects 

In June 1994, the UK Government launched an Environmental Technology Best Practice Programme. One of the functions of this programme is to act as a centre of expertise on cost effective environmentally sound technologies, to which UK industry and commerce can refer to questions related to environmental topics and sign posting.

Status 

The UK has a fully functioning accreditation system and a rapidly developing market in certification to ISO 14001. By the end of 1997, approximately 500-600 certificates had been issued to UK firms. A grant scheme - SCEEMAS - exists to encourage the adoption of EMS by smaller companies. UK Certification Bodies had also issued a similar number to organisations worldwide - with the largest number being issued in the Far East. As a member of the EU, the UK also participates in the EMAS scheme, and 41 sites had been registered under the scheme by the end of 1997.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.  

Information 

The Joint Environment Markets Unit (JEMU) has been established to increase UK firms awareness of the large and growing market for environmental goods and services, and to assist and encourage UK firms to utilize such opportunities. JEMU is also in the process of establishing a data base of UK suppliers of environmental technology.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

According to OECD figures, 95% of all transfers of technology take place under normal commercial mechanisms. The Government does not intervene in the establishment of venture capital funds to finance the transfer and application of EST.

Cooperation

The UK participates in the work of the EU, and the Paris and Oslo Commissions to promote the transfer of EST. The UK's Environmental Know-How Fund is a bilateral technical assistance scheme which aims to encourage long term environmental improvement in Eastern Europe, through improving environmental management and institution-building. The budget for this Fund was approximately 2 million for 1995/96. In addition, as a member-state of the EU, the UK has a stake in both the EU and PHARE and TACIS programmes and takes an active interest in their management. (PHARE is the EU's aid scheme for countries of Central and Eastern Europe and TACIS is its counterpart for the countries of the former Soviet Union). The environment is one of the priority sectors under PHARE and environmental projects, including those concerned with EST, are expected to account for 10% of its budget over the next five years.

Following UNCED, the UK launched the Technology Partnership Initiative (TPI) as a practical response to calls by developing countries for increased access to information on environmental technologies. The initiative seeks to encourage transfer of technology and know-how to the rapidly industrializing developing countries by increasing direct business-to-business contacts and by providing business and organizations overseas with information on technology, management techniques and best practices adopted in the UK.

The UK is also contributing to the two year pilot phase of the IEA/OECD Greentie project which aims to provide interested users (mainly developing and newly industrializing countries) with streamlined access to information on "greenhouse gas technologies".

 * * *

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The official body established to deal with legal and policy issues related to the environmentally sound management of biotechnology is the Department of the Environment and the Health and Safety Executive.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Legislation has been passed to control all activities involving the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the marketing of GMO products. Advice on risk assessment and risk management of individual activities is provided to the Government by independent, statutory, expert committees, which also provide written guidance about how to achieve safety. These mechanisms contain principles on biotechnology risk assessment and management and have been complied with and updated periodically. An EU Regulation on novel food and novel food ingredients came into effect in May 1997 and will control foods produced from GMOs.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available.  

Programmes and Projects 

The UK has specific policies to promote the use of traditional and modern biotechnologies. The Department of Trade and Industry's Biotechnology Means Business programme promotes the use of modern biotechnology by industry to improve competitiveness and enhance environmental performance, e.g., the use of living organisms as an alternative to chemicals in processes, (i.e. cleaning up contaminated land or water, etc.). Policy initiatives for the environmentally sound management of biotechnology have resulted in the establishment of regulatory authorities, expert advisory committees and research programmes to target risk assessment and risk management.

There are three significant programme projects on environmentally sound management of biotechnology. The first project is publication of guides about making proposals to conduct gene therapy on human subjects and the establishment of an advisory committee on gene therapy. The second project is ongoing research to assess the economic and environmental costs and benefits of biological and non-biological remediation methods. The national body responsible for these two projects is the Department of the Environment. National level funding for this project is approximately 50,000 and the project has a professional staff. The third project, the Crop Molecular Genetics Programme, is the responsibility of MAFF and has a budget of 1m.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.  

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The National Biotechnology Conference, in March 1997, was held to facilitate public debate about various aspects of biotechnology. There are no specific policies or plans in place to promote the use of traditional and modern biotechnologies in agriculture or food but the Government has been active in supporting educational initiatives to enhance awareness and understanding. For example, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) has funded the Biotechnology Information Transfer Club (targeted at the food industry) and has produced a booklet on genetic modification and food as part of its 'Foodsense' information programme for consumers. MAFF also jointly funds school teaching material.

The Medical Research Council has commenced work on school resource materials and exhibitions on genetics for public interest groups and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) works with schools science organisations, education authorities, science advisors and teachers. Finally, as part of its FoodFuture Initiative, the Food and Drink Federation has entered into partnership with the Institute of Food Research and the Science Museum with the support of the BBSRC. MAFF has funded work under this initiative to set up an interactive touring exhibition designed to inform the general public about biotechnology. This was launched on 20 November, 1997.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced a public consultation exercise on the issues arising from developments in genetic and biological sciences.

Information exchanged at national and community levels with regard to the procedural requirements for the safe handling, management and conditions of release of biotechnology products are organised so that all applications to release GMOs are advertised and details are placed in public registers. The registers also contain expert advice and the final decision about each application for consent, including any conditions and limitations attached to the consent.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

There are a number of LINK programmes that promote industrial collaboration in environment-related biotechnology research and development within the UK. These are Biological Treatment of Soil and Water, Technologies for Sustainable Farming Systems, Sustainable Livestock Production, Horticulture, Aquaculture, and there is a new programme on Arable Crops.

The BBSRC supports four interdisciplinary research centres: Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, University College of London, Centre for Genome Research, University of Edinburgh, Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences and Sussex Centre for Neurosciences, University of Sussex at Brighton. The BBSRC also supports research in a large percentage of UK universities. The Council supports basic and strategic research programmes in biotechnology underpinning the biology based industries.

The Health and Safety Executive have 470 centres which carry out activities involving the contained use of genetically modified organisms. Some of these are industrial and the remainder are universities and research institutes. The Department of Environment has granted consent to release genetically modified organisms to 19 organizations, of which approximately 75% are from industry. Overall, there are many large and multi-national companies with substantial biotechnology interests.

In addition, there are approximately 150 small and medium-sized enterprises whose operations are based on biotechnical research and development.

Financing 

The total budget of the BBSRC for 1994/95 is 157m. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) allocated approximately 1,5m per year directly to research institutions that focus on biological research and development. In addition, much of DTI's approximately 7,5m annual biotechnology research and development grants support industrial research contracts placed in universities.

Cooperation

The UK and the Netherlands have jointly developed draft international technical guidelines on safety in biotechnology in conjunction with international experts and organizations.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the United Kingdom to the sixth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 30 May 1998.

Click here to access The Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Public Register of Deliberate Releases And Consents To Market.

Click here to link to biosafety web sites in the United Kingdom.

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.

Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP=s International Register on Biosafety.

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.

Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP=s International Register on Biosafety.

Click here to link to biosafety web sites in the European Union.

| United Kingdom | All Countries | Home |

 

INDUSTRY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available.  

Programmes and Projects 

In June 1994, the UK Government launched an Environmental Technology Best Practice Programme. One of the functions of this programme is to act as a centre of expertise on cost effective environmentally sound technologies, to which UK industry and commerce can refer to questions related to environmental topics and sign posting.

The UK has a fully functioning accreditation system and a rapidly developing market in certification to ISO 14001. By the end of 1997, approximately 500-600 certificates had been issued to UK firms. A grant scheme - SCEEMAS - exists to encourage the adoption of EMS by smaller companies. UK Certification Bodies had also issued a similar number to organisations worldwide - with the largest number being issued in the Far East. As a member of the EU, the UK also participates in the EMAS scheme, and 41 sites had been registered under the scheme by the end of 1997.

The Joint Environment Markets Unit (JEMU) has been established to increase UK firms awareness of the large and growing market for environmental goods and services, and to assist and encourage UK firms to utilize such opportunities. JEMU is also in the process of establishing a data base of UK suppliers of environmental technology.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the United Kingdom to the sixth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 30 May 1998.

Click here for information on National Environment Programme for Water Companies

Click here to access the Producer Responsibility Register

| United Kingdom | All Countries | Home |

 

TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) is responsible for overseeing the national transport strategy. The regional administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have responsibilities on prescribed matters. Local Authorities and the London Mayor have responsibility for decision-making at the regional and local level.  The Highways Agency maintains, operates and improves trunk roads and motorways in England on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions. 

The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has been set up to plan the operation and expansion of the rail network and oversee the performance of the private sector train operating companies.    The Rail Regulator sets the level and structure of charges that Railtrack plc, the private sector owners of the track and stations, can make for access to the network.   Both operate under guidance from DETR.

The DETR is responsible for overseeing the overall national strategy for transport, and has responsibility, through its agencies, for railways and strategic roads.  The Department is also responsible for spatial planning, environmental, regional, urban, construction and other policies.  Decisions on these matters are coordinated internally based on an integrated approach to policy-making and in accordance with the Department’s overall sustainable development objectives.  Decisions on other relevant matters, such as energy and taxation policies, are taken across government through collective decision-making processes, coordinated by the Cabinet Office.

As stated above, the DETR is responsible for overseeing the overall national strategy for transport, and has responsibility for railways and strategic roads.  It also provides the majority of public funding for transport. 

The creation of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in 1998 has enabled the provision of a more integrated approach to marine safety.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In 1998 the Government released a White Paper entitled “A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone”, (available on the internet at http://www.detr.gov.uk/itwp/paper/index.htm   ) which set out its commitment to create a better, more integrated transport system to tackle the problems of congestion and pollution. This is complemented by the Transport Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 01 December 1999, which aims to improve local passenger transport services, and reduce road congestion and pollution.  The Transport (Scotland) Bill is currently before the Scottish Parliament.“Transport 2010:  The 10 Year Plan”, published in July 2000, sets out a programme and resources to put these policies into practice.

European emission standards

Environmental standards for road vehicles and fuels are agreed at a European level – although UK policy has often been to introduce and/or incentivise these standards before their Europe-wide implementation date. Significant improvements in vehicle & fuel technology have combined to produce a reduction in emissions of local air pollutants from road vehicles of around 50% over the past decade. This, combined with the introduction of even more stringent standards over the next few years will mean another 50% drop over the next decade.

 Fiscal incentives

·          Fuel duties – the UK government offers reduced rates of taxation on cleaner road fuel gases. It also offers reduced rates on more environmentally friendly conventional fuels, such as Ultra Low Sulphur Petrol and Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The 10 Year Plan for transport recognises that increased economic activity and rising incomes has generated higher demand for personal travel and the transport of goods and services.  This, in turn, has led to overcrowding and congestion in some areas, mainly urban areas, London in particular.  The Plan recognises the need to tackle the growing problem of congestion – on both roads and railways – and to make public transport a more attractive option.  Since the 1950s, bus patronage has declined by two-thirds.  However, there are signs that this decline has now ended.  Rail use has increased by 17% in terms of rail passenger journeys and 22% in terms of freight moved by rail since 1997.

The Plan recognises the need to improve rural transport services, where low population densities increase the cost per head of providing such services, thus limiting provision.  At present, only 36% of households in rural areas in England are within a ten minute walk of a regular bus service, compared with 94% in urban areas. 

However, the need for investment in the transport system is now being addressed through the Government’s White Paper “A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone”, “Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan”, and the Transport Bill currently passing through Parliament.

The overall Strategy concerning the transport system is set out in “Transport 2010:   The 10 Year Plan”, and the Government’s White Paper on the future of transport “A New Deal for Transport:  Better for Everyone”.  The White Paper addresses the UK as a whole; “Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan” applies to Great Britain as a whole with regards to railways, and to England for all other transport issues.  These two papers outline the integrated strategy for urban planning, rural development, and transport infrastructure.  In addition, the Government is soon to issue an Urban White Paper and a Rural White Paper, both of which were produced in conjunction with the 10 Year Plan.

Government policies on spatial planning, and in particular Planning Policy Guidance note 13, which addresses transport issues, have been revised to promote more sustainable patterns of development which reduce the need to travel, especially by car.

The UK’s draft national climate change programme, published in March 2000 and currently being revised, includes a number of  measures aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from the transport sector.

Regional Planning Bodies must develop Regional Transport Strategies, and these provide the regional context for Local Transport Plans, which local authorities are required to produce.  The funding provided to the local authority for transport from central Government is determined in light of these plans.

In London, the Mayor is required to develop and implement a transport strategy for London, in consultation with the Greater London Assembly, the 33 London boroughs, businesses and other stakeholders.

The Government has committed itself to developing a framework for sustainable transport. A number of measures, building on earlier work, are already in place, including a commitment to annual increases of 6% in real terms on fuel duty and implementation of EC Auto-Oils standards in 2000, with further measures likely in 2005. A White Paper setting out an integrated transport policy is planned for spring 1998, which will help protect and enhance the environment, foster a strong economy and promote a more inclusive society. Planning Policy Guidance (PPG 13) has been issued to local authorities on integrating land-use planning and transport, which will also be an important aim of the White Paper on integrated transport.

The Government's long- and short-term goals in transport are the following:

Expansion and modernisation of Transport Infrastructure-  Long-term goals:

           Rail

Roads:

Locally across England:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

The UK Government is committed to involving the public in policy-making and decisions on the provision of public services, and has a policy of actively consulting on all major policies.  Local authorities are required to consult actively on Local Transport Plans.

An independent body – the Commission for Integrated Transport (CfIT) – has been set up to provide independent advice to Government on the implementation of integrated transport policy, to monitor developments across transport, environment, health and other sectors and to review progress towards meeting our objectives.  The Commission advises on developments in Europe, and identifies and disseminates examples of best practice from home and abroad.  

In January 2000 the Motorists’ Forum was established to give motorists a voice in the development of integrated transport policy. It seeks to maximise consensus on the role of the car in the context of the Government's integrated transport strategy and will be looking to help address the adverse problems of congestion and pollution.

One important role of the Forum will be to look at how technology can deliver safer, smarter and more environmentally-friendly vehicles. The Forum will work closely with the CfIT. 

In 1999 the Road Haulage Forum was set up to enable closer Government and industry co-operation in assessing the competitiveness of the industry and discussing ways to enhance it.

The passenger has been given a more effective voice through membership of the SRA, stronger Rail Passengers’ Committees, new statutory arrangements for the London Transport Users’ Committee, and new provisions in the Transport Bill on consultation.  There was also extensive public consultation on the Government’s White Paper “A New Deal for Transport:  Better for Everyone”.  Over 20,000 copies of the Paper were distributed to both representative groups and individuals, and over 7,000 responses were received.

Public and private partnerships are being actively encouraged in many areas of transport, and will provide the funding for delivering much of the 10 Year Plan.  On the railways, the Strategic Rail Authority will decide what quality and capacity improvements are needed and will monitor delivery of these obligations on behalf of passengers and taxpayers.   The SRA will work to directions and guidance from Ministers.  The Rail Regulator will set the level and structure of the charges that Railtrack can make for access to the network, will ensure that the company does not abuse its monopoly position and enforce its network licence conditions.  The Regulator will be subject to general guidance from Ministers and have a duty to facilitate the SRA’s strategies, but will otherwise be independent.  Railtrack plc is the private sector owner of the track and stations and so has a key role in expanding the network to meet the obligations of its licence, and private passenger and freight operators provide train services. 

Public-Private Partnership contracts are currently being negotiated for the London Underground.  These are likely to run for 30 years, and will mean that the private sector will be responsible for delivering a programme of renewals and maintenance.  Operation of the Underground will remain within the pubic sector.  We are also bringing in £3.3 billion of private sector investment for the £6 billion Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

The National Air Traffic Services Public-Private Partnership will provide a genuine partnership between the public and private sectors, levering in £1.3 billion of private investment over the next 10 years to complete a two-centre strategy at Swanwick and Prestwick.  Many of our airports and virtually all of our air services are privately operated.

The UK has a successful track record of public and private partnerships for trunk roads.  We expect that around 25% by value of current and new major schemes will be procured using private finance contracts, including Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) contracts.  The Highways Agency is also developing new procurement approaches for maintenance so as to introduce long-term maintenance contracts on DBFO lines.

Programmes and Projects 

The UK Government-backed Motorvate scheme is designed to help companies cut their fleet fuel costs and at the same time improve their environmental performance.  Motorvate sets core targets of reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and reduced business mileage over a three-year period.  Participating fleets are offered fleet management guidance, a telephone advice service, and on-site assistance.  Further details of the scheme can be found at www.greenerfleet.org.uk. The government is also seeking to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions through changes in the taxation of road vehicles – for example through its reform of Vehicle Excise Duty & Company Car Taxation, detailed in answer 5.

The Government is promoting greater fuel efficiency within the distribution (and bus) industries through the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme (EEBBP).  The programme encourages the uptake of best practice through free advice to hauliers and logistics companies on:

·        Available fuel efficiency measures; with

·        Impartial assessment of their costs and benefits;

·        Guidance on their implementation;

·        Information on benchmarking vehicle performance;

·        Promotion of driver training, vehicle routing and scheduling and vehicle maintenance.

These are supported by a series of fuel efficiency workshops.  The Programme has also been expanded to include a helpline service which provides transport site specific advice and, for small and medium sized enterprises, a free half day visit from a consultant.

Status                    

In England, 60% of the poorest 20% of households have no car, and 55% of those over 70 years of age live in a household with no car.  Women and those under 20 years are also more reliant on public transport.  It is these groups that are therefore most in need of an improved public transport system. 

The scale of London and the complexity of its transport system, coupled with the high level of demand, mean that transport problems in London are of a different magnitude from those in any other metropolitan area in the country.  London experiences the most intense and widespread traffic congestion in the country, and more journeys are made on the London Underground each weekday than on the entire rail network in the UK.  Road accidents in many parts of London are significantly higher than the national average, and air quality is lower. Addressing the capital’s transport problems is therefore a priority concern under the 10 Year Plan. 

Low population densities in rural areas increase the cost per head of providing public transport, which limits its provision.  Currently, only 36% of households in rural areas in England are within a ten minute walk of a regular bus service, compared with 94% in urban areas.  Rural areas are therefore a priority in developing an improved transport system.

Peripheral regions can often be disadvantaged in terms of transport links, and so regional policies of both the UK and the EU are aimed at ensuring better transport links to such areas.

The target of the country is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents by 40%, and children by 50%, over the next decade.  The strategy for achieving this target is set out in “Tomorrow’s Roads – Safer for Everyone”.  We have also reviewed speed management, and issued guidance on safer travel to schools.

Passenger numbers through UK airports are projected to increase by 50% by 2010, and freight traffic by almost 100%.  The Integrated Transport White Paper set out the Government’s desire to see an increase in the proportion of journeys to airports undertaken by public transport, and announced the Government’s intention to prepare a new UK airports policy looking 30 years ahead.  It also referred to the need to bring forward new policies on civil aviation.  This work will be bought together in an Air Transport White Paper, which will provide a long-term framework for the sustainable development of air transport in the UK.

The rail industry has committed to a package of safety improvements including speeding up work on installing train protection, improved driver training, and further action to reduce incidents of signals passed at danger.  The 10 Year Plan envisages the industry installing the Train Protection and Warning System across the network by the end of 2003 at the latest and fitting full automatic train protection on higher speed lines as they are upgraded.  The UK may bring within the Plan further measures subject to the findings of current enquiries into recent rail crashes. 

The substantial increase in local transport funding envisaged over the period of the 10 Year Plan will enable local authorities to bring forward significant expansion of schemes to make walking and cycling safer and easier.  A National Cycle Network is currently being set up to encourage growth in cycling.  We will be looking to local authorities to create more traffic-calmed 20 mph zones, particularly around schools and residential areas, to encourage walking.  We are also evaluating a number of ‘Home Zones’ – residential areas treated with traffic calming and other measures, which aim to improve residents’ quality of life and improve safety.

Sustainable fuel consumption

Figures for 1998 show that the following amounts of fuels were consumed for transportation purposes: 

·          Unleaded petrol                                     17,162 thousand tonnes

·          Lead replacement petrol                       4,686 thousand tonnes

·          Diesel                                                      15,143 thousand tonnes

·        LPG/CNG                                                                3.4 million kilos

Leaded petrol was banned from sale in the UK from 1st January 2000.

 A significant improvement in vehicle fuel efficiency is essential for delivery of the UK’s climate change targets.  A sustainable market transformation is therefore needed to stimulate the development, manufacture and purchase of more fuel efficient cars.  The UK Government is committed to encouraging a market transformation for passenger cars through a combination of fiscal measures, the European Union CO2 from Cars Strategy and other initiatives to provide more fuel efficient vehicles.  The future trend in the fuel efficiency of new cars is also one of the Government’s sustainable development indicators. 

Further improvements are also needed for commercial vehicle fuel efficiency.  The UK Government is committed to improving the efficiency of freight transport operations as part of its sustainable distribution strategy.

In the longer term, the UK is working to develop and promote new, cleaner and more fuel efficient vehicles and alternative fuels.

 Reduction of vehicle emissions

 A key objective of “Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan” is to contribute to further reductions in air pollution and to contribute to meeting the UK’s climate change targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.   It is believed that further savings in emissions can be achieved with further improvements in vehicle efficiency and new technologies.  The UK will more than double its annual spending on cleaner vehicle initiatives by 2003/4, and will strengthen projects already underway to encourage fleet managers to operate gas and electric vehicles, and to fit pollution reduction equipment to existing bus, taxi and lorry fleets.  The UK will also increase support to encourage the early introduction of hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, and will be reviewing how best to use economic and other measures to bring these technologies to the mass market.

Source PM10 (Kt) NOx (Kt) CO2 (MtC)
Road Transport 50 905 35
Railways <1 24 2
Civil Aircraft <1 17 1
Shipping <1 67 1

UK emissions from transport – 1997

 Road transport is one of the major sources of air pollution in the UK, especially in urban areas. It makes a significant contribution to emissions of nitrogen dioxide, the pollutant for which UK air quality objectives are likely to be most difficult to meet. Levels of traffic have grown significantly in recent years, but the consequent increase in pollutants has been offset by progressively tighter EU vehicle emissions standards. Further improvements are expected for the tighter EU fuel and vehicle standards introduced for 2000 and 2005.

The transport sector is also the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. More importantly, as levels of road traffic grow, it is the fastest growing source. Although significant reductions are being achieved in vehicle emissions as a result of more efficient engine technology and improvements in fuel quality, these are being offset to some extent by the increase in road transport.

Development of Alternative Transport Modes:  Long-term goals

The Government aims to develop safer cycling and walking routes, more 20 mph areas and Home Zones for safer roads, particularly around schools. Our target is to treble the number of cycling trips from their 2000 level by 2010.  Local Transport Plans are expected to include strategies to secure substantial increases in cycling and walking.

The Government also aims to develop up to 25 new rapid transit lines in major cities and conurbations, more than doubling light rail use over the next 10 years.

Upgrading the vehicle fleet

The UK has established a Cleaner Vehicles Programme to reduce emissions of local air pollutants from older vehicles operating in urban areas with air quality problems.  The programme provides grants towards the cost of converting existing vehicles to run on cleaner fuels or of fitting them with emissions reduction equipment such as catalytic converters and particulate traps.  This programme is a short-term initiative given that the vehicle parc is becoming increasingly clean as older more polluting vehicles are scrapped and replaced by cleaner vehicles.

Challenges

Tackling congestion and pollution from road traffic presents the most immediate challenge for UK policy makers in terms of increasing efficiency and reducing emissions. As noted above, road transport is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions and still a major source of air pollution in urban areas.

The problems we face are in part connected with success.   Increased economic activity and growing incomes generate higher demand for personal travel and the transport of goods and services.   Between 1968 and 1998, passenger travel and freight moved almost doubled, a rise closely linked to economic growth.  People are choosing to spend more of their increased disposable income in ways that generate transport demand.  However, the Government’s White Paper “A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone”  and  Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan”  both recognise the need to ensure that increased mobility does not undermine our quality of life. They seek to address the problems associated with increased demand for travel and the need for increased investment in the transport systems in the UK.

The growth of road traffic as a result of economic growth is probably the largest obstacle to meeting environmental targets related to transport. Traffic growth offsets environmental improvements made to the specification of vehicles and fuels.

Alternative fuels and technologies 

There is a range of cleaner fuels and technologies that can offer reduced emissions compared to conventional petrol and diesel vehicles.  Examples include road gas fuels and electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.   However, there are a number of obstacles to the wider use of these fuels and technologies outlined below: 

Road gas fuels eg: liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas 

Gas vehicles carry a price premium over the equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle ranging from £1500 for an LPG car to £30,000 for a CNG truck.  If manyufacturers start to mass produce gas vehicles then the price premium is expected to reduce significantly.  The refuelling infrastructure for gas vehicles is also limited, though imporving rapidly in the UK in the case of LPG.

Electric vehicles 

Electric vehicles have a high capital cost due to the high cost of batteries.  Their limited range and perfromance restricts their application to niche markets eg: urban delivery vehicles.  Relatively long recharging times reduce their attractiveness to fleet operators.   Few electric vehicles are available in the UK. 

Hybrid vehicles

 The main obstacles appear to be high capital costs and limited availability.

 Fuel cell vehicles

 Fuel cells are still an emerging technology but there are a number of potential obstacles to the development of the technology:

·           Uncertainties over feed fuel for fuel cell – candidates include hydrogen, gasoline, methanol, natural gas

·            High cost of fuel cell vehicles compared to petrol/diesel technologies

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The UK government runs advertising campaigns aimed at raising people’s awareness of the impact of transport on the environment – for example, by encouraging people to use their cars less and/or use them in a less environmentally damaging way. These messages are spread through a variety of different media – TV and radio ads, promotions in national press, road shows and posters sites.

Local Agenda 21 (LA 21) is the process by which local authorities work with their wider communities towards sustainable development, and is about managing and improving the local authority’s sustainability performance, as well as awareness raising and education across its area, consulting and involving the community, partnership working with other agencies, and measuring, monitoring and reporting progress.

Local authorities are currently working on producing LA 21 strategies.  In producing these strategies, themes relevant to transport which the local authority should consider include encouraging necessary access to facilities, services, goods and other people in ways that make less use of the car and minimise impacts on the environment.  In doing this, local authorities may be engaged in initiatives to promote public awareness of the impact of transport on the environment and alternative modes of travel.

The Transport Bill aims to improve bus services and guarantee free bus passes for all pensioners and disabled people entitling them to half fares.  Bus Quality Partnerships have also been developed whereby operators and local authorities work together to improve bus services and related facilities.  These will be placed on a statutory basis through the Transport Bill.  Quality Partnerships in 120 towns and cities to date have generated increases in bus usage of 10-20%.  The requirement for local authorities to produce Local Transport Plans should also lead to improved public transport provision, thus encouraging its use, and should lead to a promotion of cycling and walking. 

There are many Government and local authority road safety publicity and information campaigns each year. Nationally the most notable might be those aimed at reducing speeding and drink-driving. In terms of road safety "education", the main audience is children. DETR has recently re-issued its leaflet "Lesson for Life" which offers advice to parents on how and what to teach their children about road safety as they grow up. The Department has also produced a highway code for young road users called "Arrive Alive", which covers many aspects of road safety including the well-known and well-used "Green Cross Code" about how to cross roads carefully and safely. Road safety messages aimed at children will have a positive impact on how their parents and other members of their family behave too.

Learning about sustainable development is a key part of a broad and balanced education.  We believe the role of the Government is to support sustainable development education in the classroom and beyond; and to listen to the advice of environmental and educational experts and ensure that accurate information is made available to young people.  That information enables them to decide what they can do to contribute to the protection of the environment, and act upon those decisions. 

In Personal, Social and Health education, pupils learn about what improves and harms their local, natural and built environments. In design and technology, they learn how to take into account the environmental impact of the products they design and make.  In Citizenship, they are taught about global environmental issues, and in history, about the impact of changes in work and transport on society and the environment. 

DETR has commissioned consultants to develop a database of classroom materials relating to school travel issues.  The database will be accessible via the internet in the autumn of 2000, on DETR’s school travel web-site. 

There is a growing number of resources available for teachers wishing to integrate work on travel and transport issues in the national curriculum.   The Sustrans Safe Routes to School Teachers’ Resource Folder includes materials on transport and the environment, and the Nottinghamshire TravelWise teachers’ pack produced by Nottinghamshire County Council looks at travel and transport issues such as health, pollution and congestion. The National Society for Clean Air publishes a Transport Emissions Assessment for Schools pack which helps schools calculate the amount of pollution their journeys to school produce. 

The Department for Education and Employment is developing two pieces of school travel software.  A car-sharing database which will enable schools to identify parents who are willing to share the car journey to school, or escort children to school by public transport, on foot or cycling.  And mapping software which will enable pupils to map safer, healthier and more sustainable routes to school, identify dangers and find alternatives.  The mapping software will come with a manual to help teachers use the software in conjunction with National Curriculum subjects.  Both pieces of software will be made commercially available to primary and secondary schools from October 2000.

Transport operators are responsible for their own training programmes within the framework of the strict regulatory standards and safety codes that apply to each sector.

Information 

The overall policy framework and spending plans are set out in Government guidance, including the recently published “Transport 2010:  The 10 Year Plan”.  This is available on the internet at http://www.detr.gov.uk/trans2010/index.htm.

For more information on waterways, please see the UK Government’s paper on inland waterways policy available on the internet at http://www.detr.gov.uk/environment/bw/tomorrow

 Databases covering details of  bus, long distance coach and taxi operations are maintained by DETR. These are based on regular surveys of bus and coach operators and local taxi licensing authorities. In addition., DETR conducts an annual National Travel Survey that monitors all types of travel by households in Great Britain. 

The performance of the rail network is measured in terms of passenger journeys and passenger kilometres; and freight tonnes lifted and freight tonnes moved (tonne-kilometres). This information is provided by the train operating companies. The Civil Aviation Authority collects similar information from UK airports and airlines about international and domestic air travel. Detailed information about freight moved on UK roads is obtained by means of a continuous sample survey carried out by DETR. For foreign and domestic maritime transport, detailed information about freight and passenger traffic is collected from UK ports.

 Information on road condition in England and Wales is collected through the National Road Maintenance Condition Survey. This has three main elements: an annual visual survey of some 11000 randomly chosen sites. This is carried out by local authority staff or by consultants employed by the relevant local authority, and data processing is carried out centrally by DETR. All classes of road are covered except for motorways; a structural survey of principal roads. This is carried out by a firm of consultants under contract to  DETR; and the collection of data on skid resistance.

Details of all road accidents which involve personal injury are collected by the police to an agreed standardised format.  This data is forwarded to the DETR monthly. The Department maintains a database of all reported accidents since 1979.

 Every quarter, the DETR receives a complete record of all registered vehicles in Great Britain. These data come from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and are held by the Department in database format for regular and ad-hoc analyses.

Vehicle Emissions

 Data on air emissions from vehicles is contained in the UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI). The NAEI is the standard reference air emissions inventory for the UK and it includes emission estimates for a wide range of important pollutants including the greenhouse gases, regional pollutants leading to acid deposition and photochemical pollution, persistent organic pollutants and other toxic pollutants such as heavy metals. It shows, where possible, emission trends from 1970 to1997.

The NAEI provides the UK air emission data for submission to international bodies such as the UNECE, UNFCCC and the EC. The report of the NAEI is published on an annual basis and one of the appendices to the report summarises the methodology of the inventory, including that used for the vehicles component. The annual report is available on the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions’ (DETR) Internet website. Access to the National Air Quality Information Archive can be gained via:

http://www.environment.detr.gov.uk/airq/aqinfo.htm. The report can be found under “Emissions”.

The Information archive also includes emissions data, emission maps, and it also contains a report detailing all the base data from which the projections of future air emissions from road transport are derived.

Local air pollution information

 The DETR provides an air pollution information service on behalf of the Government and the devolved administrations. The DETR disseminates hourly air pollution information from over 105 monitoring sites across the UK to the public and the media. The data is made available through the television (CEEFAX, TELETEXT) and the Internet. The Department also funds a free-phone telephone line (0800 536677). Towards the end of 2000 the Department will be undertaking a public consultation exercise to assess the way in which air pollution information is made to the public.

 Traffic Conditions: Motorways and all-purpose trunk roads

 The following information relates in the main to motorways.   On the non-motorway network such equipment is currently specially installed on a site-by-site basis.

 Information on traffic conditions and the speed and flow of traffic is collected using closed circuit television (CCTV), loop detectors buried in the carriageway and motorists summoning help from emergency roadside telephones.  A Network Motorway Communication System links the signals, cameras and telephones to a Control Office from where police can operate all the roadside equipment.

 Variable message signs (VMS) in the form of overhead cantilever/gantry mounted signals or post mounted roadside signals convey information to drivers. Strategic VMS at key points on the network allows them to re-route or change their travel plans if they wish.

MIDAS (Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signalling) collects data from loop detectors and automatically sets VMS signals.  These signs can also be set manually by the police. 

In the Controlled Motorway project mandatory variable speed limits are used to smooth the flow of traffic and reduce congestion when appropriate circumstances are detected.

The Highways Agency is developing a Traffic Control Centre system which will provide roadside information direct to drivers, via a national network of variable message signs, advising them of conditions on the network and/or suggesting alternative routes or modes of transport as appropriate.  It will also provide a specified range of quality traffic and travel information to customers.  It aims to increase significantly the availability of up to date and reliable travel information which will give travellers the information with which they can make choices about when and how they make a journey.  This should result in a better match between demand and road capacity.

 Later this year the Government will be launching Traveline, a single telephone service giving timetable information about all forms of public transport.   This will be the forerunner of a more comprehensive transport information service, available on the Internet, provisionally called “Transport Direct”, which will help people plan their journeys and to compare routes and prices and will incorporate up to date and reliable information.

Information on motorway lane closures and traffic conditions for the M25 can currently be accessed via the Highways Agency website: www.highways.gov.uk .  This and other information can also be obtained also by telephoning the Highways Agency’s Information Line on 0345 50 40 30.

Local highway authorities/local authorities

 Most, if not all, local authorities collect air quality data and many make this available on Internet web sites. In some cases, authorities make the information available in public places, e.g. shopping centres. An example of a local authority air quality web site is at: http://www.oxford.gov.uk/airwatch/

 Many also collect traffic data and increasingly traffic cameras are used to provide information to the public via Internet web sites. In London, traffic cameras are used to check and inform on road travel conditions. These can be viewed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/londonlive/travelandweather/travelnewslondon.shtml

 Traffic data may also be available from traffic management and control systems. Where traffic signals are controlled by a central computer in an urban traffic control (UTC) system, traffic data may be made available for use in a broader context by highway authorities.

In Bristol, the ELGAR (Environment Led Guidance and Restraint) project gives travel advice to drivers and message signs alongside the highway   advise using park and ride services if air quality is poor.

The EQUAL European project involved authorities in seven European countries. Leicester City Council, the UK participant, has a web site which provides a real-time traffic congestion map using information from sensors on Leicester's streets. It also adapts live CCTV images and real-time information about car park occupancy for presentation on the Internet and enables access to real-time information from air quality monitors around Leicester. The site address is  http://www.leicesterequal.co.uk/

 The Romanse system, based in Southampton, provides travel news and information including details of congestion on the road network around Southampton. A trip planner is also available at the Romanse site http://www.romanse.org.uk/

In late 2000 “Traveline”will be launched.  This is a single telephone service to give people timetable information on all forms of public transport.  This will be a step on the way to a more comprehensive transport information service, available on the internet, provisionally called “Transport Direct”.  By 2003 this service is expected to include:  real-time train operating information; real-time information on many local bus services; multi-modal travel information on the internet, covering road journeys as well as public transport modes at a single point of contact; booking of long-distance multi-modal journeys on the internet; and development of internet-based maps.

The “smartcards” have the potential to help improve the efficiency of public transport by facilitating through-ticketing.  In addition, we will be encouraging the use of Intelligent Transport Systems, and we are introducing a new Traffic Control Centre and roadside infrastructure systems to manage traffic on the trunk road network.  Drivers will get up-to-date information on variable message signs on gantries or through in-car units.  This should result in improved journey time reliability and a reduction in congestion.

Research and Technologies 

The DETR encourages and funds a wide range of research to support the following relevant policy objectives:

 The Department of Trade and Industry also carries out some relevant research through its Foresight programme.  Other UK institutes which carry out research in the field of transport and traffic systems include:

   - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

    - Economic and Social Science Council

     - National Environment Research Council              

The devolved administrations also carry out research that is relevant to their functions.

In addition, a number of UK universities carry out research on transport and traffic as do a range of private sector companies and consultants.  The UK participates in a number of European Union research programmes, including the EU Framework Programmes, COST (European Co-operation in Science and Technology) and in OECD research.

Further details of the DETR research programmes can be seen at http://www.detr.gov.uk.

Powershift programme

The UK’s Powershift programme aims to encourage the wider use of alternative fuels in the UK to deliver air quality, climate change and noise benefits.  The programme works by providing grants towards the additional cost of purchasing gas or electric vehicles that offer environmental advantages over equivalent petrol or diesel vehicles.   Powershift has also established a register of approved vehicles to ensure minimum saftey and quality standards for alternative fuel vehicles.

Since 1996 when the programme started Powershift has helped to part fund the purchase of over 3000 vehicles. In the current financial year (April 2000 – March 2001) the programme expects to fund over 6000 vehicles with the main increase in demand being for light duty LPG cars and vans. 

More recently Powershift has started to consider the promotion of fuel cell and hybrid technologies that offer significant energy efficiency and emissions advantages over conventional vehicles.  This is set to continue. 

Other programmes.

The UK’s Foresight Vehicles Initiative aims to promote the development of motor vehicle technology that is significantly more environmentally friendly and capable of meeting mass market requirements of safety, performance, cost, and desirability.  The programme funds projects researching areas such as hybrid and electric vehicles including fuel cells technology.

 In addition, the UK government has established an Advanced Fuel Cells programme to help to develop the UK manufacturing capability and infrastructure necessary to bring fuel cell vehicles to market.

Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan” outlined a number of new systems that will be employed by the Highways Agency over the next ten years to improve the real-time management of traffic on our strategic road network (i.e. most motorways and other trunk roads).   Examples include: 

Extensive new roadside monitoring and communications equipment is planned for the next ten years.  This will be linked to variable message signs and ultimately to in-car computers, providing both network controllers and drivers with real-time information about traffic levels, road conditions and accidents. 

In the next two years the UK will introduce a national Traffic Control Centre which will transmit up-to-date advice on which route to use if there are problems on the network.  In addition, a Traffic Information Highway will be established – a common pool of data for use by the public and commercial companies providing services to drivers and transport operators. 

Financing 

The UK government has put in place a number of fiscal measures designed to facilitate the take-up of alternative fuels and vehicle technologies. This includes low rates of fuel duty on road fuel gas and special low rates of Vehicle Excise Duty and Company Car Taxation for alternatively fuelled vehicles.

With regards to traffic management in towns and cities, a substantial increase in funding is being made available to local authorities, Passenger Transport Authorities and other transport providers to develop the packages of measures that best answer people’s needs and reflect local conditions.  Local solutions will largely be identified in Local Transport Plans, which local authorities will be obliged to develop under the Transport Bill.   The Transport Bill will also give local authorities powers to set up congestion charging schemes and/or workplace parking levies in their areas in order to tackle congestion and other problems.  A number of authorities are currently developing proposals for such schemes.

Building Infrastructure

 In the current financial year 2000/01, public investment expenditure in the transport system is set at £2.8 billion.  This represents approximately 0.75% of the total national budget[1]. Private investment is set at £4.0 billion.  “Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan” announced an increase in public and private funding totalling £180 billion over the next ten years.  This is made up of: £64.7 billion public investment; £56.3 billion private investment; and £58.6 billion public resource/revenue. The amount of public and private investment by year from 1991/92 to 2010/11 can be seen in Chart 1 below.  The amount of public and private investment by mode over the same period can be seen in Chart 2 below.

Chart 1

chart1.jpg (39369 bytes)

Chart 2

chart2.jpg (41895 bytes)

[1] Using a figure of £370.9 billion for total managed expenditure, as cited in HM Treasury, Public Expenditure: Statistical Analyses 2000-01, April 2000.

Revenue support is provided by the Government to remunerate private investment, and a new £7 billion Rail Modernisation Fund is being established, which will lever in a much greater amount of private capital to finance a rail expansion programme.  The fund will encompass a range of funding mechanisms, including capital grant and debt finance. Transport has and will continue to receive increased funding from central Government over recent years. 

The introduction of Local Transport Plans for local authorities, which cover five-year periods, offers greater certainty of future funding for local authorities, allowing them to plan investment more effectively.

As discussed in question 13, Public-Private Partnership contracts are currently being negotiated for the London Underground, under which the private sector will be responsible for delivering a programme of around £8 billion worth of renewals and £5 billion of maintenance over 15 years.  We are also bringing in £3.3 billion of private sector investment for the £6 billion Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Passenger train operators are required to make substantial investment under the terms of their franchises. The Strategic Rail Authority will be empowered to take swift action if train operators are not fulfilling the obligations of their franchises. Furthermore, the Franchising Director was provided with funds aimed at supporting new investment proposals.  These were distributed through two schemes - the Infrastructure Investment Fund and the Rail Passenger Partnership scheme. 

The National Air Traffic Services Public-Private Partnership will lever in £1.3 billion of private investment over the next 10 years to complete the two-centre strategy at Swanwick and Prestwick. 

With regards to roads, as discussed in question 13, the Highways Agency is developing new procurement approaches for maintenance so as to introduce long-term maintenance contracts on Design, Build , Finance and Operate lines.

Cooperation

The UK participates in a wide range of common transport schemes and initiatives with neighbouring countries, both bilaterally and through the European Union.  The UK has bilateral agreements relating to air traffic and the operation of flights between countries with many countries outside of the EU. There is an agreement to allow the operation of flights within the EU between the EU Member States.

The UK is a member of a number of organisations, namely the International Maritime Organisation, the International Air Transport Association, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the OECD, which fosters co-operation on a number of transport issues, and the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT), a body separate from, but associated with, the OECD, which deals with transport matters on behalf of European Ministers for Transport.  Being a member of the European Union, the UK participates in joint EU transport ventures, and a Transport Minister attends formal EU Transport Councils to discuss legislative proposals four times per year.  Ministers also meet their EU and other European counterparts at various bilateral meetings.  These are sometimes wide-ranging and sometimes arranged to discuss specific issues. 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the United Kingdom to the eighth and ninth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: November 2000.

Click here for the Government's Environmental, Transport and Regional Programme During the UK Presidency of the European Union: Policy Statement

Click here for the Informal Environment and Transport Councils: Chester, 24 to 26 April 1998

Click here for the Transport Statistics.

| United Kingdom | All Countries | Home |

 

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

Tourism is a vital part of the national and local economy, bringing in much extra money for the country and creating many jobs. It can also benefit local communities by helping to maintain local facilities and services, such as public transport and shops, and can help to regenerate areas through improvements such as the use of derelict land, restoration of buildings, and conservation and repair of the countryside. But there are also concerns that growth in tourism may cause congestion, inconvenience to local people and environmental damage. We would welcome views on how to manage tourism to ensure its benefits while minimising potential problems.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

* * *

This information was excerpted from a consultation document of the Government of the United Kingdom, published in February 1998 and entitled, Opportunities for Change, on revision of the UK's Sustainable Development Strategy. The consultations will lead to the preparation of a new Sustainable Development Strategy by the end of 1998.


| Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |

| United Kingdom | All Countries | Home |