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Sustainable transport needs 30-year RTPs

ICE news

ICE Midlands representatives last month called for regional transport plans to be extended from five to 30 years to create more integrated, sustainable transport to combat congestion in the area.

The call was made at a high-level ICE Midlands debate on congestion, attended by regional transport leaders including Birmingham International Airport managing director Richard Heard and Birmingham City Council chief highways engineer Neil Dancer.

The meeting agreed that plans such as adding a new runway to the airport should be co-ordinated with increased public transport links or upgraded roads to serve it, which could only be achieved through long term planning.

'We need a more distant horizon to achieve better transport planning. The biggest constraint is short term political agendas, ' said debate chairman and Merseytravel operations director Alan Stilwell. 'It's not terrible right now, but continuing regeneration will make congestion a real issue, ' he warned.

Stilwell is also vice chairman of the ICE transport board, which is visiting parts of the country to see how economic boom is linked to increasing traffic problems.

'The ICE believes the issue should be dealt with before it becomes a problem - you can't have completely unfettered use of motorcars, ' he added.

CE Midlands chairman Christina Jackson added: 'A clear vision is needed of the integrated transport infrastructure required in our region which best serves the economic and environmental well-being of the nation.'

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