Composed of leading transport industry figures - including Vauxhall chairman and managing director Nick Reilly and Transport 2000 executive director Stephen Joseph - the Commission is chaired by Professor David Begg, director of the Centre for Transport Policy at Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University and an adviser to the Government during preparation of the integrated transport policy white paper. The vice-chairman is Sir Trevor Chinn, chairman of Lex Service.
Begg has already said that the Commission would not pull its punches in appraising the Government's performance - it has promised to hold the Government to account every two months on its progress towards improving the nation's transport system.
The 17-strong Commission has been appointed for three years and its first-year programme includes:
- Reporting in November on how the first local authority transport strategies meet integrated transport objectives.
- Feedback to the Government by the end of 1999/January 2000 its views on whether or not a national road traffic reduction target should be set and assess the effectiveness of policies such as the road fuel duty escalator and whether road pricing might replace it long term.
- Examine by January 2000 potential 'quick wins' on pollution in conjunction with the Cleaner Vehicles Task Force and consider the retrofitting of older buses, lorries and taxis and a scrappage scheme to target older, more polluting cars.
The second year includes:
- Explore ways of working with the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions to promote green transport plans. Report by January 2001.
- Assessing the success of local authority workplace parking levies by March 2001.