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New amendment to transport bill could fill climate gap

14 October 2008
Last night, Labour MP Clive Betts (Sheffield Attercliffe) tabled an amendment to the Local Transport Bill which would give local authorities a new duty to produce transport policies that reduce carbon emissions.[1]

Campaign for Better Transport supports the MP in putting forward this amendment. As it currently stands, the bill doesn’t mention climate change. The group argues that the Climate Change Bill carbon reduction targets (a 26-32% cut by 2020 and a 60% cut by 2050) will not be met if carbon emissions are not tackled at a local level [2]. The group is encouraging all MPs to support this amendment.

Clive Betts MP said: "I’ve tabled this amendment because we need to put climate change at the top of the agenda. That means encouraging local authorities to do everything they can to cut carbon emissions from transport in their areas."

Cat Hobbs, Campaign for Better Transport’s public transport campaigner, said: "Local authority transport policies influence everyone’s travel choices, particularly for shorter journeys. Cutting bus services, for example, pushes people back into their cars. The Government must use the Local Transport Bill to ensure local authorities help to meet its climate change targets."


Notes to editors

[1] Amendment 102 of the bill can be found on the Parliament website. The bill is expected to reach report stage in the next few weeks. 

[2] 78% of car journeys are 10 miles or under. Carbon Pathways Analysis, DfT, July 2008

[3] Recently published research reveals that most people think local authorities have a key role to play in tackling carbon emissions. "Councils backed over climate change," Local Government Chronicle, 19 August 2008.