Adrian Gault, Department for Transport

The context for sustainable transport is set out in respect to UK CO2 emissions and the literature that that has examined climate change and transport, including the Stern Review, the 2005 Eddington Study and the Climate Change Bill. Towards a Sustainable Transport System is the transport department’s response to these reports and policies, and it describes: the role of the transport sector in meeting the challenge of climate change and delivering economic growth; the policy and investment plans through to 2014; and a new approach to strategic transport planning for 2014-19 and beyond. This takes account of Stern’s point on the costs of action or inaction, and considers the different pathways for carbon reduction. Options examined include: carbon pricing; technology and innovation; and removing barriers to change. An overview of transport policies that are helping to reduce emissions is provided, along with details on the sources of evidence for tracking emissions. Several underlying challenges are set out in respect to the links between income and distances travelled, the ‘long tail’ associated with transport infrastructure and the costs involved. A key future challenge is the nature of the inelastic demand for transport.

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