HC Deb 08 July 1996 vol 281 cc17-8
15. Mr. Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals he has to reduce the amount of traffic on United Kingdom roads; and if he will make a statement. [34697]

Sir George Young

The Green Paper "Transport: The Way Forward" sets out our view of the measures needed to manage traffic growth.

Mr. Cohen

Is it not time for significant traffic reduction measures? I have here a copy of the Japan Times, which describes United Kingdom roads as a "gridlock to nowhere". Japan's traffic derives from business and full employment, but we have no such excuse; our traffic throttles business and work. Should not direct measures be taken to improve public transport, cut fares—rather than increase them as the Government have—and keep cars out of city centres?

Sir George Young

Only a couple of minutes ago, we heard an excellent recitation from my hon. Friend the Minister for Transport in London about the substantial investment that has been made in London's public transport. If the hon. Gentleman examines the situation in London, he will see that we are not investing a great deal in new roads, but that we are investing substantially in the Jubilee line, the Heathrow express, the channel tunnel rail link and Thameslink 2000. We are making much faster progress now than we have for many decades, and we are doing it with private finance. What we do not hear from Opposition Members is how on earth they would maintain that momentum without the partnership that we have created with the private sector.