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Towards Sustainable Transport Infrastructures: potential policy measures and actions in Europe FORESCENE workshop 26-27th October 2006

Sustainable transport policy measures and actions: lessons from England Professor Angela Hull Director Centre for Environment and Planning University of the West of England, Bristol

Structure of Presentation •

Context : competing visions of sustainable transport

Influencing market actors

Using government implementation tools more effectively: a cross sectoral approach

Bringing about change in England

Final thoughts on achieving a step change

Choose your Future: in one future ……. • • •

• • •

Fast transport which provides the global reach Public support for private solutions to mobility Government funding of infrastructure based on travel time savings Accessible, flexible private car “Virtuous magic circle” locks you into car use Facilities for the car have a market value

England: Decoupling car use and economic growth 300 Motor vehicle km


CO2 as C




NOx 100 50


0 1970







Source: DEFRA, 2004

The Congestion buster: Reusing railway lines is cheaper than building new roads (Daily Mail 27 Oct 2006,page 85)

• •

• •

Pilot project in Corby using recycled tyres Rubber slabs about 20cm thick, 2.75m x 6.5m; can replace a section in 15 minutes “virtually indestructible”; life of 20 years One-seventh cost of a conventional tarmac road

HoldFast Rubber Highway Company

Choose your future: in an alternative future ….. • •

Goal of environmental and social justice Transport hierarchy within urban areas which promotes access for walkers and cyclists above car drivers Access and economic development achieved through means which promote public health, social equity, limits emissions and use of nonrenewable resources Innovatory local low energy solutions

Sustainable Development Action Plan for the Department of Transport “Our Vision for Sustainable Development” is to seek to : “balance the increasing demand for travel against our goal of protecting the environment effectively and improving the quality of life for everyone – whether they are travelling or not” “The business case/ benefits: • Good transport is central to a prosperous economy, facilitating better access and mobility. It makes a significant contribution in its own right to achieving a strong, sustainable economy and to our quality of life.” • “Where it makes economic sense, we will provide additional transport capacity. But it has to be realistic environmentally. That is why we must also ensure our existing transport networks work efficiently and in a environmentally friendly way”. (DfT, 2004, The Future of Transport)

Barriers to the implementation of local sustainable transport solutions







ECMT/OECD (2001)

•Poorly channeled financial streams •Public transport financing sources •Inappropriate fiscal framework

•Poorly joined-up government •Stakeholder involvement and policy acceptance

•Political commitment •Lack of national policy framework

•Unsupportive legal/ regulatory framework

•Poor strategy formulation •Analysis and data quality

Atkins (2003)

•Shortage of revenue funding •Tender prices/ construction costs •Annualised funding

•Lack of policy integration •Shortages of contractors •Timing of LTP guidance

•Press coverage •Uncertain national policy context •Exogenous factors to the transport sector

•Reporting and target-setting requirements •Commercial operating environment

•Staff skills and shortages •Contract arrangements

Hull et al (2004)

•Annualised funding •Revenue resources •Few examples of the ‘right’ pricing signals

•Fragmentation of policymaking and implementation •Dealing with other agencies that have competing priorities •Power imbalance between the Highways Agency and local authorities •Lack of joined up thinking between local authority departments •Departmental mindset of path dependency

•Lack of government support •The commercial focus •Power struggles between local authorities •Changes in political control •Conservatism of politicians and general public

•Private ownership of public transport •Lack of a supportive legislative framework

•Lack of skills and staff shortages •Low knowledge base on how to implement soft modes •Lack of common equipment standards •Tools for modeling impacts

Influencing private market behaviour Cultural and Political context: • Role of government in society?: • Limited to reducing market failure and ensuring public sector is efficient and accountable (neo-liberal democracy) • Corporatist and paternalistic state (power elite) • State mediates between conflicting interests and diverse groups (pluralist) • Politicians elected to ‘represent’ the interests of citizens (representative)

• Subsidiarity and autonomy of elected governments?: • Legislative powers (primary; secondary) • Finance raising powers • Policy making powers

• Traditions? • Transparency • Citizen engagement

Understanding how physical structures and structuring rules influence behaviour

Structure ‘things’ Things A Physical things: • Buildings • Offices • Institutions – Government structure

Things B Non-material things - i.e. things which act as if they have a physical reality: • • •

Political systems Disciplinary differences Perceptions of and actual responsibilities

Process ‘actions’

Non-material things also constrain actions

Doing things • Meetings • Working practices etc

Physical things constrain actions

Source: Forester et al (2006)

Sustainable Wales 2050: use of legal tools

Government Structures for Transport Delivery in England Government Departments (inc. DCLG, DfT, DTI, DEFRA etc.)


Committees and Commissions (e.g. CfIT, SDC, parliamentary committees, National Audit Office)

REGIONAL TIER (Government Office)

Regional Spatial Strategy (including Regional Transport Strategy)


Network Rail Highways Agency


possible new governance structures

REGIONAL TIER (Regional Assembly, RDA) Audit Commission

Local Transport Plan (dotted line)

County or PTE

LOCAL GOVERNMENT Local Development Framework (shading)

Unitary District / Borough

Government tools in the UK: Implementation of transport policy Resources - Land/infrastructure National Finance: Vehicle licensing and taxation; Fuel taxation Local Finance/ subsidy: Annual Transport Settlement Specific allocations: eg Challenge funds for improving bus services Hypothecated receipts from road tolling and workplace parking charges Knowledge/ Skills

Direct Development/ Management Powers National executive agencies, eg Highway Agency; Network Rail; Local Transport Authorities: maintenance of bridges, lamp standards etc

Legal/ Regulatory Powers EU Directives: eg Habitats; SEA; National: Regulatory agencies; eg Office of the Rail Regulator Mandatory requirements for LTAs to prepare specific plans; to set road traffic reduction targets, carry out studies of road traffic accidents Discretionary responsibilities

Information and Guidance Transport + Planning Policy Statements Regional Spatial Strategies Local Transport Plan Local Development Framework Air Quality Management Plan

Government tools in the UK: wider policy sector implementation Resources EU Structural Funds etc. Public sector land ownership: 12% in UK National Taxation Policy: workers/ firms Government spend: health, education, defence, business support Knowledge/ Skills / think-tanks Departments: DfT; DTI; DCLG; DEFRA

Direct Development/ Management Power Government estate and fleet management policies Government procurement policies Packaging/ product recycling policies

Legal/ Regulatory Powers EU policy: eg Competition % Monopolies; SEA, EIA, Air quality, noise; C02 reduction agreements National: Regulatory mechanisms: land use planning Public sector performance management Disability/ equal opportunities legislation Treasury value-for-money criteria

Information and Guidance Sustainable Development Strategy Health policy Sustainable Communities policy Cross-cutting Local Area Agreements, Corporate Plans, Community Strategies

Implementing sustainable transport solutions at the local level •

35 case studies in 16 local administrative jurisdictions

Transport Planning Officers decision making procedures and use of tools

Interaction between Public Health, Environmental Health, Land Use Planning, Corporate Strategy and Transport Planning Officers

Questionnaire surveys, documentary analysis, indepth interviews; ethnographic research








Problematic Stages in the Process of Transport Decision-making

‌different experiences of barriers in the process (graph

prepared by R Tricker)

Technical barriers Tricker)

(graph prepared by R

Technical Barriers •

Design and Implementation of policy instruments •

Important but unsatisfactory overall • • • • •

BUSES FARES DEMAND-RESTRAINT Land-use (development / spatial planning) Light rail

Monitoring tools: datasets and indicators

Distributional Environment CO2 Built environment Economy Health Transport system Sustainable modes

Organisational Barriers • National political priorities • Complex delivery structures with overlapping responsibilities • ‘Silo’ central government departments mirrored in local authorities > different sectoral priorities, funding streams and timescales create organisational obstacles within authorities • Strong economic interests difficult to engage • Local authorities primarily dependent on short-term government funding streams > few local authorities prepared to shoulder the risk

Working together to reduce CO2 from transport DfT


Area Panels/ Forums

Land-use planners


Air Quality Management Team Transport Car Clubs Officer

Car Clubs Officer

Travel Planning Officer

Air Quality Partnership

LSP Environment Group

Private sector

LSP Air pollution WG

Shared priority WG

Public and media Executive LTP Group websites

Shared priority WG

Shared priority WG

What this means

• ‘Just do it’ – not that simple! • Delivery of locally appropriate solutions – difficult • Delivery of ‘sustainable’ (?) outcomes even more problematic • National and local corporate, institutional and political context ‘bounding’ the choices and decisions made at the local level

Influences upon local transport planning culture Government priorities

mindware Consensus building Conflict resolution

Negotiation identify problems

generate options for scheme designs politics

monitor performance of solutions

Awareness raising

Spreading understanding generate options for strategy packages

implement ideas

design and engineer schemes Objective setting and valuing

Allocating responsibilities

Selection from alternatives funding




Structure and Process: Causal Pathways Factor



Private ownership of infrastructure and vehicles

Difficult to achieve social objectives; Quasi-monopoly

Sub-regional co-ordinating agency; political support Legal requirements


State loses control over service information, service levels, fares, quality of service

Re-introduce state intervention > costly; Negotiation + joint working can be successful

Tightly knit policy communities`

Divided policy responsibilities; Administrative disjointed – ness; Non-existent relationships

Shared goals; physical proximity; financial gain; Clearly defined legal requirements; Communication about the ‘bigger picture’

Ways forward: revise the structuring rules • Legal requirement to deliver sustainable development and equal opportunities in all public sector decisions • Alignment between indicators, data collection, monitoring and sustainable accessibility requirements • Subsidiarity: devolve policy solutions and financial resources to the local level • Use fiscal incentives (and taxes) to encourage behaviour change in individuals and organisations • Introduce third party rights for land use and development decisions by government bodies • Central government should invest heavily in ‘sustainable’ solutions that achieve environmental, social and economic objectives

Structure and Agency Conceptual Tools What are the ‘rules’ that structure interaction in the design and delivery of transport systems?

Scope Rules: which select possible and appropriate outcomes

Boundary Rules: which determine the entry and exit of participants

Position Rules: which assign participants to positions

Authority Rules: that specify the actions actors can take

Pay-off Rules: that distribute in advance expected benefits and costs Ostrom (1986; 1990)

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