Here are some selected points from the Green Party Transport Policy. For the full policy visit http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/mfss/mfsstr.html
The Green Party will use the planning system and the provision of finance to develop and encourage transportation according to the following hierarchy based on environmental impact and value for money:
1. Walking and disabled access.
3. Public transport (trains, light rail/trams, buses and ferries) and rail and water-borne freight.
4. Light goods vehicles, taxis and low powered motor cycles.
5. Private motorised transport (cars & high powered motor cycles).
6. Heavy goods vehicles.
The planning of all transport infrastructure must be done at the most local appropriate level and in a fully democratic manner, involving full and open public consultation.
Any development, [business, retail or residential] that encourages a large number of journeys must be in a location accessible to a wide range of public transport, including links to the rail system. All development should recognise its impact on transport, including the car, and make appropriate provision [In Italy, business is required to provide links to major centres of population or to the public transport network.]
The Green Party will use the planning system to reduce the need for journeys by supporting local provision of facilities, shops and work. Where practical, encourage the use of IT to reduce the need to travel to work.
In rural areas, planning requirements for new housing and settlements will need to ensure they are close to a range of services and are well served by public transport.
Financial measures relating to transport should be based on two principles: Firstly, transport should pay for its environmental costs through taxes and charges [“the polluter pays” principle]. Secondly, these should be used to finance improved public transport.
The Green Party will introduce a vehicle purchase tax on the purchase of all new vehicles, which would be steeply graded according to a vehicle’s pollution level, fuel consumption and type of fuel. The tax disc would be abolished.
The Green Party believes it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that all urban and rural areas of the United Kingdom are served by a public transport system that will allow for a large proportion of the current private motorised journeys to transfer to these modes. To this end, it must ensure that public transport is designed and planned to create a user-friendly service, that is reliable, affordable, accessible, integrated with all other sustainable modes and environmentally friendly. Public service, not private profit, must be the primary function of public transport.
The Green Party would seek to build goodwill among transport workers by addressing issues such as poor pay, anti-social hours, and difficult working conditions, along with greater involvement of the staff in the running of the transport systems.
Public transport in rural areas should be designed to meet the needs of those living in those areas. This must recognise the diversity of rural transport provision and the importance of innovative solutions. These will include various forms of trip sharing and community transport provision, including post buses and taxis, especially in the more remote areas where a reliance on the provision of frequent bus services may be environmentally damaging and too expensive.
The Green Party believes that the rail system, including track and operators, needs to be publicly owned, and would seek to bring the service back into public ownership.
The Green Party supports the further expansion and construction of new light rail systems, with the aim of seeing their introduction into all towns and cities where there is local support.
The Green Party would re-regulate the bus industry, with local authorities having responsibility for ensuring that bus services reflect all the principles for a public service, including the setting of routes, frequencies and fares.
The Green Party views taxis, Dial-a-Ride and private hire vehicles as forms of public transport.
New Deal For Transport
The Green New Deal commits investment to a major expansion of public transport. We will:
- Double the size of the bus fleet through an investment of £3 billion to buy 30,000 new buses and create 70,000 jobs.
- Provide a further £2 billion to subsidise bus fares and get new services operational.
- Bring the railway system back into public ownership and spend £2 billion on new track and rolling stock, and on urban tram schemes – together creating 20,000 jobs.
- Reduce UK rail fares by one third to bring them in line with the European average through a £3 billion subsidy.