Archived press release
Road traffic reduction bill becomes law
The Road Traffic Reduction Bill - drafted and promoted by Friends of the Earth, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru - has become law. The House of Lords gave its approval to the Bill tonight (Thursday 20 March) and it now goes for Royal Assent - a formality - before passing on to the statute book.
The Road Traffic Reduction Bill was introduced as a Private Members Bill by Lib Dem MP Don Foster. It will require local authorities to draw up reports on traffic levels in their areas,along with desirable targets for reductions in local traffic levels. The Secretary of State for Transport will consider these reports when making funding available to local authorities for traffic reduction schemes .
Charles Secrett Executive Director of Friends of the Earth said:
"This is wonderful news and a momentous occasion in transport history: for the first time ever a law has been passed that will tackle traffic growth rather than trying to accommodate it. The Road Traffic Reduction Act will play a significant part in easing the suffering millions of people face from traffic-related congestion, pollution and road-building."
"Friends of the Earth would like to thank all the parties and organisations who supported this Bill. In particular we would like to thank Don Foster MP, Roads Minister John Watts, the Labour transport front bench and the AA and RAC".
David Taylor, Green Party Principal speaker said:
"We very much welcome the passing of the Road Traffic Reduction Bill. It is the culmination of 3 years campaigning by activists from the Green Party, Friends of the Earth and many other organisations. This Act is only half of the original Bill, but Government has conceded the principle of traffic reduction. After the General Election we can go forward to get the other half of the original Bill,national targets for traffic reduction, onto the statute books too. The Road Traffic Reduction Bill is a significant step in the right direction towards a sustainable transport policy."
Cynog Dafis of Plaid Cymru said:
I am delighted that this Bill has become law. The current level of road traffic growth is one of the greatest threats to the quality of our lives, environmentally and socially and in the form of physical health. This Bill gives us the framework to start tackling this problem."
NOTES TO EDITORS:
 The Secretary of State has made it clear that his funding decisions will be heavily based on the schemes potential to achieve the Traffic Reduction Targets set by local councils. He will also be issuing guidance to ensure thorough consultation and the spread of best practice.