The Royal Commission on Pollution: Report's targets and recommendations for the coming decades
Thursday 27 October 1994
Raise the proportion of freight carried by rail from 6.5 per cent in 1993 to 10 per cent by 2000 and 20 per cent by 2010.
Increase the fuel efficiency of new cars sold in Britain by 40 per cent between 1990 and 2005.
Cut the proportion of journeys in London using cars from 50 per cent now to 35 per cent by 2020; corresponding decreases elsewhere.
Raise urban bicycle use fourfold by 2000, from 2.5 per cent of all journeys to 10 per cent.
Achieve full compliance by 2005 with World Health Organisation air-quality guidelines for the pollutants produced mainly by vehicles.
Reduce daytime exposure to road and rail noise to an average of 65 decibels, and to an average of 59 decibels between 10pm and 6am.
Increase the proportion of scrapped vehicles which is recycled or otherwise reused from today's 77 per cent to 95 per cent by 2015.
Freeze emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal global-warming pollutant, from road and rail at their 1990 level by 2000, and cut them by 20 per cent by 2020.
RECOMMENDATIONS Increase fuel duty year by year in such a way as to double the real price of fuel by 2005, and base the level of the annual vehicle excise duty (road tax) on a vehicle's fuel efficiency.
Planned spending on motorways and other trunk roads should be reduced to half its present level.
Introduce tougher exhaust pollution emission checks during the annual MOT test, which should become compulsory when the vehicle is just one year old.
Reduce road tax for vehicles which already meet the more stringent pollution standards due to be introduced in a few years.
Stop sales of unleaded super- premium petrol because of its high content of cancer-causing benzene.
Define severe government pollution limits and, when pollution levels seem set to exceed them, curb traffic temporarily.
Introduce stronger protection for cherished landscapes and wildlife sites from road-building.
Enforce speed limits more strictly and, by 1996, require 56mph speed limiters on lorries.
Give bigger subsidies to the railways and more government support to modern tram schemes.
Modify a rail line from the Channel tunnel to Scotland to enable freight trains to carry standard cargo containers.
Give government grants to local councils to create a network of high-quality urban cycling routes over the next 10 years.
Consider the case for giving incentives to bus companies to switch to less-polluting natural gas.
Give government support to the development of electric vehicles operating in urban areas.
Give noise insulation grants to people exposed to noise levels lower than those that now qualify.
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