To achieve the same effect through investment in the railways, up to £1 billion in extra funds a year would need to come from Government, while the road building programme would need to triple in size to have an equal cut in congestion. 'Tackling Congestion and Pollution', the Government's first report under the Road Traffic Reduction (National Targets) Act 1998, will rekindle fears that fleets could face rocketing costs in future.
The report revealed transport's effect on the environment will be dramatically reduced in the next decade thanks to the effort of car manufacturers producing cleaner cars and fuel companies improving petrol and diesel fuel. However, while the Government accepts vast improvements in emissions are guaranteed, vital work needs to be carried out to cut congestion. Officials said crude targets for cutting traffic levels were of no use, agreeing with recommendations from the Commission for Integrated Transport.
Launching the report, Transport Minister Lord MacDonald said: 'This report shows the good progress we are making in cutting pollution from traffic. It also points out the good progress we can make in cutting congestion. We will discuss our proposals with local authorities, businesses and other interest groups.'