Britain needs a coordinated transport system with different forms of transport forming an integrated network. Environmental considerations alone make this an important issue, but there is also the question of the time lost in travelling which has an affect both on quality of life and on the economy.
A good transport network is an important part of the foundation on which a successful economy is built.
There is an increasing acceptance that problems of pollution and road congestion can only be solved by a major shift away from road traffic.
The Liberal strategy is to reduce dependence on the motor car by investing in other forms of transport.
We also advocate tax and access concessions for small vehicles which meet fuel consumption and pollution standards, increases in tax on larger vehicles, the design of car-free residential areas and priority schemes for pedestrians, cycles and buses.
If dependence on the motor car and the congestion and pollution that follow from it is to be reduced, investment in bus and light rail (metro systems) is vital. We support the idea of fare-free local public transport.
We also advocate a halt to all new trunk road building, diverting funds saved to public transport. Work on the elimination of accident black spots and improvement of existing roads would not be affected.
We propose the reopening of rail links to all major centres of population. We calculate that three million people are living in centres of population without train services and that services could be restored to these communities by reopening just 700 miles of track.
Planning policies could reduce the need for transport by placing housing, employment, shopping and leisure facilities together. This is possible to a much greater extent than happens at present. Home shopping and delivery systems should be encouraged. There should be tax incentives for people working from home.