LETTER:Talking 'green' on road to chaos

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Sir: Having talked "green" in recent months, the Government has now shown its true colours with regard to transport policy ("Ministers axe plan to cut pollution", 2 April). In their woefully belated response to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution's report, the Government is apparently set to ignore most of the recommendations of the report it commissioned.

It fails to accept important targets for a shift from cars to other forms of transport in urban areas, and it hasn't decided whether or not to accept targets significantly to increase cycling. If the Government was less concerned about being portrayed as anti-car then it might fnd the time to be pro-railways, buses, cycling and walking.

Given this total lack of a coherent transport policy, it is not surprising that the Government has apparently removed the use of the word "integrated" from its document because it is too "socialist". Forward planning, future resources and local initiatives are other words that might qualify for expurgation.

What is needed, and what Labour will provide, is a national transport framework including targets for pollution reduction and the structures and policies that can achieve those targets at regional and local levels.

The results of 17 years of drift in transport are all around us in pollution and congestion. They provide the most eloquent case for a new government to adopt an integrated approach across all means of transport and levels of government.

Graham Allen MP

Shadow Minister for


House of Commons

London SW1