Government policy on sustainable transport misses opportunity

Norman Baker MP Under-Secretary for Transport, released a White Paper last week entitled ‘Creating Growth, cutting carbon’ which highlights the importance of cutting emissions, reducing congestion and generating growth at the local level.

It extolls the virtues of ‘modal shift’, the current buzz words to describe getting people out of their cars and onto other transport.

It mentions the importance of this happening and being encouraged to happen at the local level, especially within the 5 mile commute.

You would expect therefore, that motorcycling and especially scooter use would be mentioned as one of the important modes of urban transport to be promoted. After all, the report even acknowledges in a diagram, that powered two wheelers (PTW) make up 1% of all traffic, but barely 0.5% of emmissions – clearly demonstrating the greener credentials of Powered Two-Wheelers.

To its credit, the white paper does highlight the ‘Wheels to Work’ schemes run by several local authorities, which help young people keep a bike on the road so they can get to work.

In the final analysis however, this was the chance for government to show it is going to get serious about the benefits of biking and signal to local authorities that they must do the same.