§ Mr. Jenkin
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to paragraph 1.43 of the White Paper, "A New Deal for Transport", what measures he proposes to facilitate quality partnerships for freight between local authorities and lorry operators. 
§ Ms Glenda Jackson
[holding answer 25 January 1999]: The draft guidance on Local Transport Plans, issued on 12 November 1998, explained that, as well as passenger transport, issues connected with freight distribution would need to be addressed within the plan. As stated in our Transport White Paper, our intention is that these be addressed through quality partnerships for freight.
The draft guidance pointed to the practical guidance in "A Manual of Guidance for Local Authorities and Others: Lorries and Traffic Management" which was distributed to all local authorities in 1990, providing 256 pages of practical, low cost advice designed to promote efficient distribution of goods and minimise their environmental and social impacts. This manual is complemented by a booklet "Lorries in the Community" which provides the strategic context; explaining the potential impact of lorries in terms of congestion, pollution, noise, vibration and damage to the road infrastructure and the conflict that can arise between the need for access to town centres with the desire to improve safety for pedestrians and other road users. It explains the value of voluntary agreements and the value of the practical measures described in the manual in meeting the Government's goals for distribution.
The Freight Transport Association has been promoting a best practice initiative "Delivering the Goods" which has helped put the ideas into practice.
Over the coming months the Department will develop further guidance by drawing together best practice and experience on how to go about establishing quality partnerships. Through sharing this experience with as wide an audience as possible, we will provide further, practical advice to local authorities.
By bringing environmental, social, planning and business objectives together, partnerships can play a key part in promoting a more sustainable system for goods distribution. We intend to develop this theme further in a follow up to the White Paper on sustainable distribution.