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Transport policy too 'weighted' to infrastructure, claim lobbyists

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NEW GOVERNMENT methods of assessing transport schemes are skewed in favour of road building, transport lobbyists claimed this week.

As a result, they claim the Government's 17 regional integrated transport studies will recommend that more roads are built.

The Government's New Approach to Appraisal method introduced in July 1998 assesses transport schemes against the criteria of safety, environment, accessibility and integration.

But lobby group Transport 2000 claims it is weighted too heavily towards economic benefits of infrastructure.

Reader in Transport Planning at Oxford Brookes University Peter Headicar said the Government's refusal to set traffic reduction targets would also cause more road building.

A paper produced by Hedicar states: 'A radically different approach is needed - a set of strategies which is genuinely founded on the principles of sustainable development. The multi-modal studies should be framed and their output judged on how well they serve these principles.'

Transport 2000 assistant director Lynn Sloman said: 'We are concerned that the Government may try to push ahead with expensive motorway widening and other schemes before it has assessed the alternative options.'

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