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Urban transport 'could do better'

ICE news

ONE B, FOUR Cs and three Ds were the results of Leeds University transport specialist Professor Tony May's own State of the Nation report on the sustainability of Britain's urban transport strategy.

May issued his verdict during his speech at the inaugural Scott Wilson Transport Lecture at the ICE last week.

The B was awarded for the mere existence of a national policy on sustainable transport. It was the delivery of that policy that was failing, May said.

C grades were given for poor policy integration, especially between transport and land use, the inefficient and counterproductive split between the public and private sectors in transport planning and operation, weak pricing strategies, and short term performance indicators that were unrelated to any long term sustainability agenda.

'The local transport plan outcome targets have nothing relating to improving health and the economy, or reducing noise and controlling climate change.

So it is no surprise if less regard is paid to those subjects, ' May said.

The serious weakness was the lack of flexibility in local government funding for transport, May said.

Cash was allocated by the government as revenue funding which could be spent on anything.

That got a D. As did the related 'unsupportive' regulatory framework and the public and the media's hostility to road pricing.

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