22 July 1998
CLA and NFU back Prescotts transport White Paper

By Catherine Hughes

BOTH the Country Landowners Association and the National Farmers Union have given their support to the Governments White Paper on the future of transport.

Ben Gill, NFU president, said: “The paper identifies issues such as poor public transport in rural areas and looks to remedy these problems through the formation of Local Transport Plans. We welcome these plans as they enable local authorities to focus on local problems and come up with solutions targeted in the area.”

However, Mr Gill said he was disappointed the Government had ignored calls to lift the maximum loaded weight of lorries from 38 tonnes to 44 tonnes.

“The NFU has lobbied hard for such a change, as it would not only reduce the cost of transporting agricultural products, but would have had significant potential environmental benefits as a result of up to 5,000 fewer lorries on the road.”

The CLA also welcomed the paper because it sets out to improve rural bus services, increase road maintenance and integrate planning and transport within the DETR.

But the CLA feels the proposed measures to introduce “traffic calming” will not slow motorists down. It has also attacked the Governments increase in fuel duty – to 6% above inflation – claiming it will further burden people in country areas where vehicles are a necessity.