Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
Chapter 4: Homes, jobs and commuting: development location and travel outcomes
In the mid-1990s planning policies towards transport and development in the UK were comprehensively revised to fulfil the government’s commitment to the then novel concept of sustainable development. The particular objectives sought were to reduce the need to travel and to ensure a choice of modes so as to obviate car dependence (DoE and DoT, 1994). Coincidentally the same point in time marked a break in the long-run trend of increasing car use. Over the subsequent decade (before the economic recession) car mileage per head levelled off entirely (DfT, 2011). The sustainability problem that the revised planning policies were designed to address nevertheless remains and indeed has become more acute in two respects. Population growth has come to assume much greater significance in projections of future traffic levels. (National road traffic forecasts published in 2011 assume an 18 per cent population growth over 25 years whereas the equivalent figure underpinning forecasts made in 1997 was just 4 per cent). Yet under the Climate Change Act 2008 the UK government has committed itself to a greater long-term reduction in CO2 emissions, 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050. The overall volume of road traffic is now projected to be 44 per cent higher in 2035 than in 2010 with barely any expected reduction in associated CO2 emissions (DfT, 2011).
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