HC Deb 03 June 1997 vol 295 cc181-2
33. Mr. Yeo

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what proposals he has to encourage environmentally sustainable transport policies. [478]

Mr. Prescott

Protection and enhancement of the environment will be at the heart of our approach to government. We shall develop an integrated transport policy designed to provide genuine choice to meet people's future needs in line with our overall goal of environmentally sustainable economic and social development.

Mr. Yeo

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that one of the best ways to promote sustainability is through greater use of market instruments?

Mr. Prescott

People in any of our major cities around the country, which have been subjected to the privatisation of the bus services, leading to the choking of much of our city space, will not agree with that policy. Integration of our transport system means a better use of public and private transportation and will be better for the environment. When we make our statement on integration, the hon. Gentleman will be able to make a judgment on it.

Mrs. Brinton

What plans does my right hon. Friend have to encourage alternative forms of transport to work other than the car, especially in view of the fact that the previous Administration ran down public transport, particularly buses, in such a shameful fashion?

Mr. Prescott

The House will be glad to see my hon. Friend in her place today in view of the unfortunate accident she suffered on the London underground. Both sides of the House will agree that we must do as much as we can to improve the safety of transport; that will be at the heart of our approach. Improving safety is one important aspect on which we shall spend some time.

The major point that concerns us is that, although we have fewer cars per head than most other countries, we use them more. That is a reflection of our poor public transport system, which we intend to improve.

Forward to