Page updated:

Major revision March 2009

Last amendment June 2019


TR001 The past decades have seen a dramatic rise in the distances generally being travelled and a great shift towards the use of less equitable and unsustainable methods of transport. Thus, while the number of trips has not changed significantly, there has been a decrease in walking, cycling and the use of buses and an increase in trips by car and air. Road freight and air freight have also increased at the expense of rail and water-borne freight.

TR002 As the amount of traffic has increased so have the negative consequences. Air and road traffic are major and increasing sources of many of the worst pollutants, including carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide, carcinogenic particles and noise. These emissions cause massive damage to the natural and built environment and have serious effects on human health.

TR003 Many pedestrians and cyclists have been frightened from travelling as a consequence of the rise in motor vehicle use, the increasing weight of road freight and the increasing ability of cars to be driven at high speeds. Meanwhile, thousands of people are being killed and hundreds of thousands injured on the roads every year, of which pedestrians and cyclists make up a disproportionate percentage of the total.

TR004 These changes have increased the social and economic exclusion of large numbers of people by increasing mobility for some while leading to a decrease in accessibility for many others. They have also been a major contributor to the loss of local facilities that sustain small communities.

TR005 Government transport policy has in the past tried to predict future increases and provide for these. Taxes, regulations and legislation on transport infrastructure and operations have mostly favoured the use of cars, road freight and air travel.

TR006 Society has begun to recognise some of the damage caused by these changes in transport patterns, and this has led to some changes in rhetoric from governments in transport policy. However, there has not been any clear vision about how these problems are to be tackled, leading to policies that are contradictory and ineffective. Transport is now seen as one of the public's major concerns.


TR010 The principle aims of the transport policy are:

  1. Accessibility rather than mobility.
  2. Transport to be equitably accessible to all people irrespective of their age, wealth or disability, with local needs given priority over travelling greater distances.
  3. Where mobility is desired or needed, to satisfy this through sustainable modes of transport.
  4. Transport and its infrastructure to have the minimum impact on the environment.
  5. Transport means should make use of sustainable and replaceable resources.
  6. Degradation of community life by inappropriate transport modes, especially excessive car use, to be reduced and reversed wherever possible.
  7. Transport should not endanger users or others and, where possible, should play a role in bringing about a more healthy population.


TR011 To achieve these aims, the principal objectives to this policy are:

  1. To reduce the total distance travelled by reducing journey lengths, particularly by encouraging the development and retention of local facilities.
  2. Reduce the number of journeys made by unsustainable modes of transport, particularly by car and aeroplane.
  3. Encourage a switch to sustainable methods of transport through transport planning based on a hierarchy of modes (see TR030) and demand management (see TR020s).
  4. Reduce the environmental impacts of each form of transport.
  5. Enable integration of different sustainable modes of transport so that these forms of transport are simple and efficient, including convenient interchanges for both passengers and freight.
  6. Provide training for transport providers and planners to ensure the aims of this policy can be practically achieved. The importance of the detail in design will be emphasised.

Turning Principles into Policy

Demand Management

TR020 A key distinction between Green Party transport policy and others is the emphasis on demand management rather than provision for anticipated demand. We want to provide what is necessary and efficient within ecological constraints. We reject simply providing for anticipated demand as wasteful, damaging and unsustainable.

TR021 Strategies to reduce the demand for travel need to be drawn up at all levels of government. These would aim to stimulate and support the development of new and more locally provided products and services to provide a basis for modal shifts, including those that remove the need for travel through the use of telecommunications. They would also include measures to generate demand for these through pragmatic steps to directly influence behaviour, including education, training and support (mobility education).

TR022 These strategies would influence demand both at point of use and indirectly through promotion, information, taxation and research. In the longer term this would also include the use of land use controls. They would also act on all aspects of transport and institutional infrastructure, e.g. regulations and subsidies.

TR023 Targets will be set at national, regional or local levels and the progress of measures towards meeting them will be regularly monitored.


TR030 Transport planning will need to follow a prioritisation of modes of transport to produce a sustainable transport system (see LP409). All levels of government would be expected to follow the basic hierarchy outlined below. Local authorities will be expected to use the hierarchy in a manner that does not conflict with other green objectives. The requirements for access by emergency vehicles would not be affected by this hierarchy.

  1. Walking and disabled access.
  2. Cycling.
  3. Public transport (trains, light rail/trams, buses and ferries) and rail and water-borne freight.
  4. Light goods vehicles, taxis and low powered motor cycles.
  5. Private motorised transport (cars & high powered motor cycles).
  6. Heavy goods vehicles.
  7. Aeroplanes.

TR031 The planning of all transport infrastructure must be done at the most local appropriate level and in a fully democratic manner, involving full and open public consultation. The Green Party supports local planning initiatives from communities to determine their own transport needs, as long as these accord with the general objectives outlined here.

TR032 To reduce the need to travel, transport planning must aim to create mixed-use developments (e.g. shopping with housing and small business premises, etc.). The development and retention of local facilities must be supported through planning and financial measures.

TR033 The Green Party would promote the use of life cycle assessment and the Best Practicable Environmental Option approach for appraisal of transport infrastructure developments. These should be linked to sustainable development policies being developed under Local Agenda 21

TR034 Fundamental changes to the part which transport plays in our society will need to be introduced sympathetically. At all levels, the Green Party would establish a new basis for implementing transport policy and infrastructure developments. This would be holistic. It would bring into account so called 'externalities', such as environmental and safety costs, as well as on direct construction and operational costs. Guidelines would be developed to balance the needs for sustainable transport infrastructure development with local environmental degradation. Local communities must always be fully involved in all stages of these developments. Where degradation to local communities is inevitable, guidelines would also be drawn up to ensure that compensation will satisfy the needs of those communities as well as practicably possible.

TR035 The Green Party would amend and enforce planning rules to steadily reduce car parking requirements, and make a requirement that the developer must show how their development can be fully accessed by more sustainable modes. Any development that encourages a large number of journeys must be in a location accessible to a wide range of public transport, including links to the rail system. (see TR180 for cycle storage)

TR036 The Green Party will seek to create car-free developments wherever feasible, through both planning arrangements and financial incentives.

TR037 In rural areas, planning requirements for new housing and settlements will need to ensure they are close to a range of services and are well served by public transport.

TR038 To ensure full integration between sustainable modes of transport, the appropriate public bodies will be required to co-ordinate this, with the involvement of all service providers. This information will be expected to be supplied to the public as widely as possible. Authorities would be encouraged to make this available at reduced costs where otherwise usage of these modes may not be encouraged.

Renewable fuels

TR040 The most obviously sustainable fuel is human muscle power, which is used when walking and cycling. Therefore, these two modes appear at the top of our hierarchy, as shown in TR030. Animal powered transport, in particular horse powered transport, is also sustainable provided that sufficient care is taken to ensure animal welfare.

TR041 The burning of all fossil fuel and derivatives (e.g. petrol, diesel, natural gas) to provide power for transport is unsustainable. One of the most serious effects is the contribution to the climate emergency by producing carbon dioxide. The Green Party seeks to dramatically reduce the production of carbon dioxide from all methods of transport. The principle means of doing this are by demand reduction and modal shift. (see TR011)

TR042 Local airborne pollutants are also produced when petrol and diesel are burnt, for instance, particulates, NOx, ozone and partial combustion products such as PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons). The negative affects on human health and the environment of these 'local pollutants' are to some extent mitigated by using technology such as catalytic converters. However, these can cause pollution, so do not offer a solution on their own to the problem of fossil fuel use.

TR043 LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), a petroleum derivative, and methanol, which can be made at low energy cost from different sources, are somewhat cleaner locally than petrol or diesel but have a very similar global warming effect.

TR044 CNG (compressed natural gas) produces less climate emergency impact per unit of delivered power than petroleum derived fuels. However, global reserves of natural gas are smaller than those of oil, so conversion from oil to gas use on a larger scale will only help if undertaken as a transitional move to fully sustainable fuels.

TR045 Biomass-derived carbon-based fuels, such as ethanol and bio-diesel, are in principle fully sustainable, but the amounts it is feasible to produce in densely populated industrialised countries such as the UK are not sufficient to make a serious impact on transport fuel usage.

TR046 Green Hydrogen used in fuel cells, synthetic fuels derived from green hydrogen, and renewable electricity (see energy policy) are sustainable fuels for transport.

TR049 The Green Party Climate Emergency policy recognises the urgency of the threat and the need to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions (CC015 refers). The Green Party would therefore end the use of fossil fuel-burning cars and vans on our roads from 2030.

TR050 To achieve this the Green Party would prioritise reducing the need to travel and increasing public transport, walking and cycling. It would ensure that by 2025 all new motorbikes, scooters, cars and vans would produce zero tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions. To support the remaining vehicles we would ensure the availability of sufficient charging points for electric vehicles, regulated to avoid footway and bike lane obstruction, and of hydrogen refuelling facilities.

TR051 Implement a vehicle scrappage scheme that compensates people for the surrender of their old fossil-fuelled vehicles, or the reduction of their tailpipe emissions to zero with a mixture of grants towards new zero emissions vehicles including bicycles, and rail and bus passes. Priority will be given to vehicles for people with disabilities.

TR052 This rapid transition away from fossil-fuelled vehicles requires a revolution in the funding of railways, mass rapid transit, zero emission bus and coach services, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, waterborne freight and other changes. Funding must be sufficient to enable the majority of current car and van miles to be made by these alternative methods or to no longer be necessary within a decade.

Ownership and regulation

TR053 The uncoordinated privatisation and deregulation of many parts of the UK transport industry has contributed to a lack of coherent transport policy for freight and passenger movements. The Green Party believes that public regulation allowing democratic accountability of transport providers is generally the best management system.

TR054 The Green Party believes that regulation needs to be done in a fully open manner for public accountability. This must include all financing arrangements of regulatory bodies and all links between those bodies and the service providers.

TR055 The Green Party believes that regulation of transport development cannot be undertaken according to the above principles through private finance initiatives (PFIs), and will oppose the use of this financing method.

Charges and Taxes

TR060 Current transport costs society far more than is received through charges and taxes on transport users. The 'hidden' external costs, i.e. air and noise pollution, congestion, accidents and road damage, have been calculated in the 1990s as costing society at least £30 billion more than is received through these. This does not include the effect of current transport on global warming and community disturbance, which will raise this figure hugely.

TR061 The Green Party financial measures relating to transport are based on two principles. Firstly, transport should pay for its environmental costs through taxes and charges (the polluter pays principle). Secondly, these should be used to finance measures to meet all of the objectives as outlined in TR011.

TR062 Funds raised from transport taxes and charges will be hypothecated (i.e. allocated for specific expenditure) for investment in and subsidies of environmentally friendly modes of transport until such time that the necessary changes in transport needed to meet our objectives have occurred. This shall include paying for redressing the negative environmental, social and health consequences of transport.

TR063 Road fuel tax is an important factor in encouraging users to be more mileage conscious and to opt for smaller, more fuel efficient cars. The Green Party would increase road fuel tax incrementally until the revenue of fuel tax covers a high proportion of road traffic's external costs, with adjustments for transport use and the nature of the fuel.

TR064 The Green Party supports the introduction of fuel tax on aviation fuel and emission charges and increased landing charges on aircraft.

TR065 The Green Party will introduce a vehicle purchase tax on the purchase of all new vehicles, which would be steeply graded according to a vehicle's pollution level, fuel consumption and type of fuel.

TR066 The tax disc would be abolished. Instead, cars would have to display evidence that they were insured. When applying for insurance, applicants would be obliged to submit MOT certificates when they are needed, and cover will not be granted in the absence of such evidence. Insurers will not be entitled to offer cover beyond the expiry date of the MOT certificate or the end of the exemption period, whichever is applicable.

TR067 Goods vehicle duty should be related to vehicle size, axle load and pollution to better reflect their external costs and remove the cross-subsidy of larger vehicles by smaller ones.

TR068 The Green Party supports the principle of road charging for motorised vehicles, as this can be used to specifically reduce traffic in areas where it is most harmful. However, road charging would not be introduced where it would cause a significant increase in the use of other roads, especially those passing through built up areas.

TR069 In the short term, road charging should be introduced where road space is most congested and where traffic causes most pollution. These would be expected to be in urban areas and in areas that attract large numbers of tourists.

TR070 The Green Party supports a non-residential parking levy to be levied on off-street parking. The introduction of parking levies would need to be done over wide areas to ensure local economies are not adversely affected by these.

Policies on charges for on-street car parking are covered by TR307.

Accessible transport

TR071 A comprehensive plan for fully accessible transport will be implemented, so that public transport will be usable by all members of the public. In addition, the necessary arrangements will be made to meet any extra reasonable transportation needs of disabled people beyond that which can be provided through general services. (see DY502)

TR072 The Green Party would encourage the provision of any private vehicle hire type services that provide for improved accessibility for disabled people, such as Dial-a-Ride.

Transport in rural areas

TR080 Transport can be a more significant facet of rural than urban life, as distances travelled are generally longer and therefore usually form a higher proportion of a household's budget. In addition, there can be a huge inequality of access to services between rural and urban areas.

TR081 However, rural areas cannot be excluded from attempts to curb CO2 emissions and protecting the environment. Thus, the challenge of providing access to facilities, and of creating an integrated network of environmentally sustainable transport, will be much greater in the countryside than in urban areas.

TR082 To do this will require a range of measures, only some of which will be directly transport related. In particular, to retain and develop local services in rural areas where the economies of scale inevitably work against this will require targeting of funding to support this.

TR083 The following policies will have particular relevance to rural areas: TR037, TR114, TR165 and TR210-213.


TR090 The aim of these policies is to reduce the impact that commuting currently has on transport problems, particularly pollution and congestion. A significant means to achieve this is through extending the use of telecommunication technology so that work from home is more easily arranged.

TR091 As commuting, by its nature, is made up of regular journeys, it is particularly suited to travel by public transport, as it allows a regular supply of passengers to sustain this provision. However, decades of under-investment in sustainable transport has resulted in commuting patterns that are now more reliant on car journeys, such as to out of town developments. The Green Party will aim to reverse these patterns back to ones where public transport can readily provide for most journeys.

TR092 The Green Party believes that employers have a responsibility for ensuring that businesses do not cause detriment to society and the environment. With regards to transport, they would be responsible for drawing up green commuter plans in partnership with appropriate authorities, and would contribute to the funding of necessary measures. Satisfactory green commuter plans would be a requirement for any new development.

School Transport

TR100 Safe routes to schools would be given the highest priority by the Green Party, so that most children are able to walk or cycle to school

TR101 The Green Party supports the 'walking bus' method of accompanying smaller children to and from school.

TR102 The Green Party supports the provision of good quality subsidised public transport for all pupils who do not live within a short distance of their school. The type of public transport subsidised (train, bus or taxi) would depend on local circumstances. Criteria for defining the geographical area that subsidies would apply to would be drawn up by the local authority - maximum distances would be set so that subsidies do not attract usage of schools at great distances and adversely affect local schools.

TR103 Children and parents must be involved in the process of deciding what transport provision the school needs. Children must be educated about the issues of transport's impact on the environment and society so that they can make informed choices.

Streets for All

TR110 The Green Party takes a holistic view of street use. Too much of our city, town and village streets have been taken over by motor vehicles, and too little is left for residents' outdoor circulation and living space. These streets have become more dangerous for residents and vulnerable road users than they used to be. There is more traffic, and much of it moves too fast, at speeds that in an accident may kill or seriously injure pedestrians and cyclists in particular. To change this the Green Party proposes a comprehensive package of mutually reinforcing measures that we believe will deliver significant improvements for residents and road users.

TR111 The priority measures will be the reduction of excessive speeds on streets and the reallocation of road space away from cars, with the aim of making all streets places which all people feel able to use.

TR112 Funding for these measures would come from funding that at present is used for road building. There would be no new road building or widening schemes implemented except for essential access. A review of all proposed schemes would be eventually undertaken once the necessary measures, as outlined below, have been introduced, with the assumption that these will then be all deemed unnecessary.

TR113 The Green Party would introduce a 20m.p.h. limit throughout built up areas, including villages. This overall approach would reduce the need for specific traffic calming measures everywhere, but it is recognised that there would still be a need for these in many locations, especially the entrances to these areas.

TR114 In rural areas, apart from trunk roads, the maximum speed limit would be 40m.p.h. Local communities would be encouraged to set lower limits on country lanes where pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders would be particularly vulnerable. They would also be encouraged to designate green lanes where these modes would have priority, and where feasible, to close lanes that act as through routes to allow only for these modes plus local access.

TR115 On major roads outside of built up areas, the maximum speed limit allowed would be 55m.p.h., to maximise the efficiency of fuel use as well as improving safety.

TR116 In residential streets, priority will be given to residents, particularly in its use as part of their outdoor living space. Residents would be involved from the outset in the redesigning of these, and a far greater percentage of the funding of roads will be diverted to these works. This redesign will go beyond the use of current speed reducing measures to more effective redesigns to increase pedestrian space and restrict vehicle carriageway, with physical features effectively limiting speed of vehicles to 10m.p.h., while making the environment more inviting to pedestrians and cyclists, such as the "Home Zones" initiative in The Netherlands and elsewhere (see LP410)

TR117 In shopping streets safe access will be the priority. The emphasis will be on widened pavements and, where possible, pedestrianisation. Schemes which allow slow motor transport for shoppers with limited mobility or heavy burdens will be encouraged. In all shopping streets crossings will be provided at frequent intervals. (see TR162)

TR118 All traffic calming, i.e. speed reducing, features that are introduced into streets, and any other features that affect street design, must not create situations where pedestrians and cyclists are put in any danger or inconvenience.

TR119 Specific measures will also be taken to reduce the effect of vehicle noise and vehicle pollution to the environment. Such measures could include barriers to reduce the effect of both, and education and legislation on measures such as turning off engines when waiting.

TR120 Traditional road safety has concentrated on removing road designs that could be contributory factors in accidents. Regrettably, this has also resulted in road design that allows drivers to manoeuvre with less caution, allowing greater speeds. The Green Party will concentrate road design on reducing vehicle speeds.

TR121 As policies on reducing journeys made by motor vehicles start to take effect, the Green Party will actively seek to reallocate road space away from traffic and parking to more sustainable uses, primarily to give priority to more sustainable modes of transport but also for other non-transport sustainable uses.

TR122 Light pollution has been an increasing problem in many areas, especially due to street lighting. However, lighting is necessary where security of the most vulnerable road users is a factor. To balance these factors, the Green Party will prioritise measures that reduce its dominance, such as making the direction of lighting more accurate, and also introducing less energy intensive methods of lighting.

Walking and Cycling

General Policies

TR150 These will be given the highest priority in transport planning for the following reasons:

  1. They both benefit the user through increasing their health and well-being, which no other mode of transport does.
  2. They have the least environmental impact.
  3. They are both available to use by the greatest number of the population, particularly children. It is of course recognised that there are some people who are not able to walk or cycle, and for this reason disabled access is given equal priority. (see TR030)
  4. They benefit the social environment in which they take place by increasing contact between people. They also enhance the vitality of our cities, towns and villages.

The aim of these policies is to make it possible for walking and cycling to account for most short distance journeys made.

TR151 Both walking and cycling are dependent on their facilities being well maintained and cleaned. The Green Party will ensure that priority is given to this, in funding and enforcement, including fines against those allowing dogs to foul the footway.

TR152 The Green Party will ensure that signing of pedestrian and cycling routes is given priority, with clear signs to those places that people actually wish to travel to, e.g. shops and public facilities, including public transport stops. We would also encourage the placing of maps at regular intervals that give information that pedestrians need, such as surface barriers, road crossings and bus stops.

TR153 The shared use of pedestrian space with cyclists is recognised as a source of nuisance and conflict to pedestrians. The Green Party will make all efforts to reduce these conflicts through its measures to make roads safe for cyclists. Where proposals are made for shared use, all other measures will have to be first studied to ensure that there are no other ways of making safe cycling. Loss of road space from other vehicles to accommodate cyclists will be seen as preferable to loss of footway space from pedestrians. (see TR173)

TR154 Walking and cycling have become popular leisure pursuits with the development of long distance paths and rural cycle paths. Such activity can often imply a dependence on a car to access these places. All publicity for these should show how these can be accessed by sustainable modes of transport, including public transport.

TR155 Where rail services are proposed for disused lines that have been converted to pedestrian or cycle paths, where possible safe and convenient paths for pedestrians and cyclists would be maintained. Decisions on the provision of these rail services must recognise the extent of current sustainable uses of the lines, and must involve consultation with users of the existing and proposed facilities.

TR156 The Green Party calls for the introduction of "proportional liability" (also known as "stricter liability") for road users, which acknowledges that the duty of care for one's actions when using the road should be proportional to the degree of danger that you impose on other road users.


TR160 All opportunities must be taken to maximise the convenience, safety, security and comfort of pedestrians. Planning for pedestrians will aim to provide both networks of routes and to ensure other areas are pedestrian-orientated. A priority will be given to providing a minimum standard of provision for pedestrians that would ensure that all networks are complete and usable by all pedestrians. (see TR161)

TR161 Pedestrians include people of many different needs and abilities. These will include those with sensory disabilities, the elderly, children, those pushing or carrying heavy loads and larger groups of people. Design for pedestrians must always seek to provide for all of these.

TR162 Crossings of roads should always be designed on the principles outlined in TR160, following consultations with pedestrians. All formal crossings will be designed to respond quickly to pedestrian demand, with an aim to provide zebra crossings at frequent levels. Barriers stopping informal crossing of roads should be progressively removed.

TR163 The Highway Code allows for priority to pedestrians crossing at side road junctions and access roads. The Green Party will seek to effect this in road design, education and enforcement. (see TR175 for cyclists)

TR164 The Green Party will encourage the development of car-free city centres, aiming to make these the norm. Pedestrians improve the attractiveness and commercial success of central areas, and pedestrianised zones will mean a reduction in pollution, noise and accidents from powered vehicles.

TR165 The footpath network has suffered from a lack of maintenance and development for many years, exacerbated by hostility from some landowners and lack of funding priority by some authorities. The Green Party would give greater priority to maintaining and signing public rights of way throughout all areas, and developing new routes wherever there is a perceived demand.


TR170 Cycling has decreased in modal share as roads have become dominated by cars. The fear of the potential of motor vehicles to inflict injury to cyclists in accidents, and the harm to their health from vehicle pollution, has been primarily responsible for this. This has led to many cyclists choosing to use pedestrian areas rather than roads. A lack of recognition of the problems faced by cyclists in being able to travel safely and conveniently has led to a huge lack of resourcing of all types of cycling infrastructure.

TR171 The Green Party recognises that the keys to promoting the use of bicycles are:

  1. Reducing the need to travel long distances for work, leisure and shopping.
  2. Improving road conditions to make them safe, convenient and comfortable to cycle on, including reallocating road space. (see TR110 etc)

TR172 Cycles are a vehicle and, as such, cycling should, wherever possible, take place on roads or, where not feasible, on cycle paths segregated from pedestrians. To this end, local authorities would need to review all roads regularly, and the measures needed to bring them up to a standard of safety required for cycling. In targeting support, including funding, local authorities will be expected to ensure that the most congested routes in urban areas will be given high priority, and that any works must ensure the completeness of the route.

TR173 There will be a hierarchy of measures to create this provision. The primary objective of these will be reducing speeds and volume of motorised traffic. Where this cannot achieve a safe cycling environment, various forms of segregation from vehicles will be implemented, including routes completely away from the road system.

TR174 Where the cycle infrastructure is shared with pedestrians or horse riders, or where the cycle provision on roads is shared with bus priority measures, adequate space must be provided for the two users to share it safely.

TR175 Where cycle routes are provided which give some form of segregation from other road users, the cycle route will be given priority at junctions over motorised traffic. Alterations to national rules, including the Highway Code, and education of other road users to understand this, will be needed to allow this to happen in a safe manner. (see TR163)

TR176 Stricter enforcement of parking and other violation of cycle facilities by motor vehicles will be undertaken. Where legitimate uses of cycle facilities by other vehicles takes place, e.g. servicing adjacent properties, any opportunities to provide for these elsewhere will be given priority.

TR177 A national network of longer distance cycle routes will be encouraged, within which local networks will be connected. However, the priority in cycling provision will be for local needs.

TR178 Technical innovations that allow for bicycles to be used by the greatest number of people (e.g. bicycles for people with disabilities, and including renewable power assistance for those unable to use bicycles to their full ability), and those that allow for bicycles to be used for a greater number of uses (e.g. load-carrying bikes, bikes that can carry more than one person, folding bikes, etc.), will be encouraged. (see TR071). However, simplicity in technology is of paramount importance to encourage the greatest use of bicycles, and the Green Party will encourage manufacturers to make bicycles for everyday use widely available.

TR179 All public transport providers will be obliged to fully consult with and provide for cyclists, both on their vehicles (train, ferry, bus, light rail/tram, etc.) and at all the boarding and termination points where they run along fixed routes.

TR180 All large employers and organisations that are publicly accessible must provide for cyclists to be able to leave their bicycles and belongings in safe, secure dry surroundings. For clusters of small shops or workshops, the local authority or estate owner must make such provision. This should also apply to council and private housing. Provision for cycle storage should be made in all new developments.

TR181 Local authorities will be responsible for providing cycle parking as needed in public spaces and for enabling the widespread provision of cycle resource centres, where the fullest range of supporting services, such as cycle maintenance and indoor cycle parking, can be provided.

TR182 The Green Party will encourage all other initiatives that may encourage a change of mode to cycling. This can include alterations to allowances paid by employers to their employees for their necessary travel, and government tax relief for work related cycling, on a scale no less generous than car allowances.

TR183 Training for children in all practices relating to cycle use, e.g. riding and maintenance, will become an integral part of the education system, and will be supported by the provision of safe places for children to learn to cycle. Provision for the training of adults will also be supported and must be an important element in promoting cycling in the short term whilst road conditions are particularly hostile to cyclists.

TR184 Road safety training in relation to promoting cycle use will be organised on the principle that cyclists should make their own decisions on safety needs. However, the Green Party feels that all bicycles sold should, as a minimum, have lighting (preferably pre-wired to allow for the fitting of dynamos) and a bell, or other warning device, and will support technological developments that improves this provision.

Public transport

General policies

TR200 The Green Party believes it is the government's responsibility to ensure that all urban and rural areas of the United Kingdom are served by a public transport system that will allow for a large proportion of the current private motorised journeys to transfer to these modes. To this end, it must ensure that public transport is designed and planned to create a user-friendly service, that is reliable, affordable, accessible, integrated with all other sustainable modes and environmentally friendly. Public service, not private profit, must be the primary function of public transport.

TR201 The Green Party believes that all levels of government have responsibilities for setting service levels to cover all public transport, whether privately or publicly provided, which they would have responsibility for enforcing. Service levels would cover such factors as frequency of bus and train services and would take into account the size of locations served and their remoteness from the nearest centre where a wide range of local services are available. Local transport users must be fully involved in decisions on service levels.

TR202 Information on all aspects of public transport, such as tickets, fares, timetables and integration of services, needs to be easily available to all transport users. All information should be available on the internet and by telephone, and at public libraries and transport information centres, which should be created at all major public transport interchanges. Information on local services should be available at all bus stops and train stations. All information must be in a simple, easy to understand format.

TR203 Local authorities will also have responsibility for ensuring that all public transport modes are fully integrated with each other and are easily accessible to all disabled people and those arriving by bicycle and foot.

TR204 Whilst public transport is generally a much safer form of transport than private transport in terms of injuries per distance travelled, it is recognised that safety is perceived by the public to be a problem, especially due to the scale of accidents where injuries result. The Green Party would, thus, devote resources to improving the safety of public transport.

TR205 The Green Party recognises that one of the major barriers to people using public transport, particularly women and the elderly, is a concern for personal safety. To this end, we promote policies on staffing at rail stations (see TR237) and bus conductors (see TR277). For safety in and around bus stops, rail stations and other public transport termini, the Green Party would invest in general structural improvements. These could include better lighting, enclosed waiting points, provision of local emergency numbers and electronic information on services, and other security measures such as CCTV.

TR206 Public transport is dependent upon the goodwill of its workforce who, by the nature of the work, have to endure unsocial working hours, including split shifts, frustrating working conditions, mainly due to the lack of vision in transport planning, and relatively poor pay. The Green Party would seek to improve all these factors, along with greater involvement of the staff in the running of the transport systems.

Public transport in rural areas

TR210 Due to the remoteness of many rural areas, for public transport to offer a viable alternative to private motorised transport, there will need to be a substantial increase in the number and range of services provided. To fund these, the Green Party would increase the Rural Transport Grant to a level that allows for this, and extend its range. The grant would be administered by the most appropriate local authorities, which would enforce service levels through this provision. (see TR201)

TR211 Public transport in rural areas should be designed to meet the needs of those living in those areas. This must be done in the most efficient way possible, and must recognise the diversity of rural transport provision and the importance of innovative solutions. These will include various forms of trip sharing and community transport provision, including post buses and taxis, especially in the more remote areas where a reliance on the provision of frequent bus services may be environmentally damaging and too expensive.

TR212 It would be expected that there would be provision of regular bus services to most villages from their nearest town and station. These should aim to have as a minimum an hourly service, including Sundays and evenings.

TR213 In the most densely populated rural areas, provision could also be achieved through the construction of light rail lines between the main towns.

Ticketing and fares

TR220 The most appropriate local authority in any area should be responsible for ensuring that ticketing is made as simple and comprehensive as possible. This should include:

  1. Through tickets available to cover all public transport modes.
  2. Daily and weekly passes available for all journeys.
  3. Comprehensive travel cards, including 'transport smartcards', available at all points of the journey.
  4. Both single and return tickets available for all journeys.
  5. Monthly and annual passes affording significant discounts.

For rail tickets, as a transitionary measure, this should be done by a new rail regulation board.

There should be a National Railcard available to all and offering discounts on rail fares.

TR221 Tickets need to be made available at as wide a range of outlets as possible, e.g. public transport stops, transport centres and local shops, and need to be available for sale at all times that the transport systems are operating.

TR222 Fare structures for all public transport should be simplified and properly co-ordinated, with the aim of introducing one standard fare for any given service, but including options of discounted fares for off peak journeys and for those with low or no incomes, including pensioners and children. Single fares should not be penalised at the expense of return journeys, and tickets bought at the time of travel should not be unduly penalised compared to those bought in advance, to ensure that the flexibility of public transport use is promoted. Fares on routes that offer the same journey (whether by a different company or on a different route to the same terminating point) must not differ to penalise some users to the benefit of others.

TR223 Fares must be set so that there is a sufficient price advantage between them and private motorised transport to attract many users away from these modes, but must take into account the environmental costs that public transport does create. This will involve reducing fares initially to make public transport attractive, but then working out a system that allows for the fare to cover the pollution costs that all public transport does create. Fares could then be expected to increase accordingly, but only as a price advantage is kept between them and private motorised transport, to ensure users are not attracted back to these modes.


TR230 The Green Party believes that the rail system, including track and operators, needs to be publicly owned, and would seek to bring the service back into public ownership.

TR231 The division of rail and track companies into a competitive rather than a cooperative organisation, and the fragmentation of the rail industry into 100 companies by privatisation, has been disastrous for safety and reliability and the provision of an integrated service. The Green Party would overcome this through public ownership (see TR230), but also by making the rail service more democratically accountable at local and regional levels.

TR232 All rail franchises that exist from rail privatisation would be cancelled, with compensation given only for any money that the franchisee has actually invested in the railway in excess of any profits the franchisee has taken from the railway.

TR233 The Green Party will give high priority to introducing new rail services and increasing the capacity of existing services, by:

  1. Adding more tracks and grade separated junctions to existing lines.
  2. Reintroducing passengers to lines that at present are used only for freight. (see TR351)
  3. Major investment in new rail infrastructure, either along disused lines where applicable, or by building new lines where these would serve perceived demand.
  4. Opening additional stations to give all communities reasonable access to the rail service.
  5. Building more rolling stock to relieve overcrowding and handle increasing demand.

TR234 The Green Party would endeavour to make all stations fully accessible to all users. This will include lifts, at grade crossings, ramps, etc., as well as any provision for any user to access carriages without any difficulty. All rail services will have adequate space for those in wheelchairs within areas where passengers are seated. (see TR071)

TR235 All stations will have secure high quality cycle parking provision, under cover wherever possible, regularly reviewed to ensure demand is met. This should include the provision of lockers for overnight parking.

TR236 The Green Party supports the provision of facilities to carry cycles on passenger trains. New rolling stock should be designed so that it can be fitted with such facilities, so that facilities can be increased as demand rises. We recognise that on some services all the capacity is required to carry people, and that limited room at similarly crowded railway stations may restrict the loading and offloading of cycles during peak hours. In such cases our aim will be to improve the railway infrastructure to create the capacity to carry not only all the passengers but cycles as well. To encourage cycle and rail use, the aim will be to carry cycles at no extra cost to users.

TR237 The Green Party would aim to reintroduce staffing of stations as widely as possible, with staff available for the whole periods that services are being run. To allow for this at minor stations where usage is always likely to be low, the idea of community run stations will be explored (e.g. through Community Rail Partnerships), whilst the introduction of Citizens Income will allow for local stations to be staffed on a part time basis for the periods when there are services running. We would support efforts to set up joint retail shop/booking office facilities to extend hours when stations are staffed. The intention will be that stations will once again be places where there is activity and a pride of local ownership, rather than deserted places that many are now.

TR238 Greater priority will be given to replacing existing rolling stock to improve the reliability and safety of trains. The design of this rolling stock will take into account the needs of all potential users, particularly as outlined in TR234 and TR236 and also including provision for bulky luggage where possible.

TR239 All high speed and very busy lines and all trains that operate on them should be fitted with some form of automatic train protection to prevent drivers passing signals at danger. Some form of train protection, such as the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS), should be fitted onto other lines.

TR240 Other rail infrastructure that has suffered chronic under-investment in the past, such as rails, signalling, etc, will be given greater priority, to bring the level of the service back to a safe provision. (see TR204) The programme of electrification of rail lines will be speeded up.

TR241 To improve the convenience for users, most services would need to run on a level of frequency that would allow for all reasonable journeys to be made. In general, a minimum of an hourly service would always be expected, with services running from early in the morning to late in the evening. Exceptions would normally be for long distance low demand routes. Special provision would additionally need to be made for seasonal and one-off journeys.

TR242 The Green Party would greatly increase rail investment to expand and improve the network and services.

TR243 To allow for the future extension of rail services and infrastructure, the sale of land by rail authorities would be immediately stopped, pending a review of where future rail provision can be made. Where railway land has recently been disposed of, an early priority will be to investigate how feasible it will be to return this land to rail use.

TR244 The Green Party believes that long-distance service provision should not concentrate on high speeds where this will affect local service provision or take up an excessive amount of limited resources. The Green Party supports the principle of a new north-south high speed line which would reduce the number of short-haul flights within the UK.

Light Rail, tram and urban underground services

TR250 The introduction of light rail and tram systems can lead to a step change in the provision of public transport. Light rail is less noisy and more energy efficient than both cars and buses. It creates no emissions at point of use and can carry a high volume of passengers.

TR251 The Green Party supports the further expansion and construction of new light rail systems, with the aim of seeing their introduction into all towns and cities where there is local support. Any construction must be done in an environmentally sensitive manner.

TR252 Light rail should be segregated from all other road users as much as possible, and have priority over motorised traffic at all intersections. Where light rail shares its alignment with general traffic, private motor traffic must be restricted so as not to cause delays to it.

TR253 The Green Party recognises that there can be difficulties for cyclists as a result of light rail provision on the same roads. Light rail provision should be designed to minimise any inconvenience or danger to pedestrians or cyclists. The Green Party would give priority to researching ways to facilitate this.

TR254 Urban rail systems, whether light rail or underground, must be run as an integrated system. The Green Party opposes privatisation of such provision and would return these services to local public ownership.

Guided buses and trolleybuses

TR260 Many of the factors applying to light rail also apply to guided buses, where they are powered electrically. For those using other power sources, the principles laid down in TR272 should apply.

TR261 Trolleybuses, which take their electric power from above, allow some of the flexibility of buses by not being restricted to rails in the ground, and thus will also not cause those difficulties to cyclists that light rail can. However, they have the disadvantage in needing considerable higher-level infrastructure which can be visually obtrusive in sensitive locations. Their carrying capacity and speed is always likely to be less than that of light rail or guided buses.

TR262 The Green Party will generally support the introduction of these alternatives to light rail and buses, if these offer a better means of attracting passengers in the locality. The provisos outlined for both light rail and buses will apply to these as well.

Buses and Coaches

TR270 The current state of the bus industry is the perfect example that deregulation of public transport leads to a substandard service. The Green Party would re-regulate the bus industry, with local authorities having responsibility for ensuring that bus services reflect all the principles for a public service as stated in TR200, including the setting of routes, frequencies and fares. Local or regional authorities would also ensure that all settlements that are not connected by rail services had bus routes that gave good connections to the rail system.

TR271 All new buses will be designed to be accessible to all, and will thus have low floors and adequate internal space for wheelchair users, pushchairs and luggage (see TR071). Provision for the carriage of cycles on buses will be increased as widely as possible.

TR272 All local service buses would be required to have low emission engines. In the long run, all buses should run on sustainable fuels, and should be designed to have a lesser impact through their noise on the street environment.

TR273 Operators would be made responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are safe and roadworthy. Those companies who do not ensure this will have their operating license withdrawn and their buses confiscated.

TR274 Wherever possible, buses should be given priority over private motorised traffic through the provision of bus lanes and other measures. This will include priority over parking provision, but bus priority measures must be designed to ensure that they do not remove necessary loading provision for small businesses. Motorcycles and through traffic, including lorries, must not be allowed to use any of these bus facilities. The Green Party would not support the introduction of any bus priority measure that threatens the viability of local small services, and thus results in the closure of these facilities and the need for longer journeys to these.

TR275 The Green Party would aim to enforce giving buses priority pulling away from bus stops over moving traffic on those roads. To this end, the use of bus lay-bys for bus stops would be gradually removed.

TR276 The Green Party supports the development of better infrastructure to support bus services, including bus stops with seating and shelter, interchange facilities and bus maintenance facilities, and would resist the removal of any of these without comparable facilities being provided in the locality. There should also be good bus/rail interchanges at all railway stations.

TR277 It is recognised that safety of passengers is an important factor in deterring greater use of buses, while the delays caused by the driver also having to collect fares can also be a deterrent. To overcome both of these, the Green Party would aim to have conductors put back onto buses as widely as possible, but especially in urban areas.

Park and Ride

TR280 The Green Party does not support the introduction of Park and Ride services generally, as they tend to enhance the culture of driving in rural areas to nearby towns and can be detrimental to other rural bus services.

TR281 Whilst adhering to the above principle, the Green Party recognises that in the short term there may be some locations where Park and Ride may be one of the most effective ways of reducing immediately the numbers driving within urban or scenic areas as long as two factors apply:

  1. That a charge is levied for users which is used to provide for more sustainable modes of transport.
  2. Measures (including subsidies) are included to provide for bus priority which gives priority to other bus services that may otherwise be affected by the Park and Ride.

TR282 The Green Party does not support the building of Park and Ride sites on greenfield land. We will support Park and Tour systems for tourists provided that this is properly integrated into the existing public transport infrastructure for that place.

Taxis and Private Hire

TR290 The Green Party views taxis, Dial-a-Ride and private hire vehicles as forms of public transport. As such they have a role to play in the transport system, especially in rural areas and at times when trains and buses are not available, and particularly in allowing for reduced car ownership and the ability for people who cannot drive to gain some of the advantages that car drivers have. However, in terms of funding, it would be necessary to compare the provision of taxi services with other public transport provision, to ensure priority is given to those that are most effective in reducing car journeys. (see TR211)

TR291 Because of the diverse nature and small scale of these services, priority will be given to effective regulation of their services. This will include the regulation of fares and schemes to promote taxi sharing.

TR292 Local authorities will be required to ensure that within their areas there is a sufficient supply of vehicles for all potential users, so that all disabled access and the carriage of bulky items can be catered for at all times. Free taxi calling telephones should be installed at all bus and train stations.

Personal motorised transport

Car culture

TR300 Cars are currently seen as the primary means of transport by many people. The Green Party would work at all levels to alter this perception, by providing information on the problems and real costs of their use, and by improving the perception of all more sustainable methods of transport.

TR301 Car driving is not a right but a privilege. The Highway Code as it applies to driving will be made more comprehensive, especially in its recognition of the affect of driving on more vulnerable road users. The testing of drivers will also be made more comprehensive and stricter to include hazard awareness and environmental aspects and knowledge of working of vehicles. Driving tests would be done at regular intervals (e.g. 5 years) to ensure that drivers remain competent.

TR302 Experience shows clearly that the performance of drivers is degraded by alcohol and some other drugs. Traffic incidents (accidents and intimidation of others) are therefore more likely, even at the levels of alcohol that are currently permitted in the bloodstream. The Green Party will reduce the permitted level of alcohol to as close to zero, allowing for natural levels.

TR303 Speed limits and regulations which are not implemented are ineffective. All speed limits would be rigorously enforced, as would any other regulations relating to drivers of vehicles (including public transport). Greater use will be made of automatic cameras and other speed measurement.

TR304 Penalties will focus more on limiting the convicted driver's ability to drive, as well as fines and imprisonment. Procedures for prosecuting such offences will be dealt with as soon as possible, and it will be made easier for a driver not to contest the charge but to accept licence penalties. This will enable more prosecutions, increasing the overall effect of prosecuting.

TR305 Vehicle insurance policies will be registered along with the rest of the vehicle details when the vehicle is licensed. The compulsory third party element of vehicle insurance shall be required to cover civil liabilities arising from accidents. There will be a considerable increase in the penalties for damage, injury and death caused by traffic accidents. Driving without a valid licence or insurance will be penalised with immediate confiscation of the vehicle.

TR306 Car parking is not a right that any driver has on the road. Restrictions on parking on roads will be expected to increase to make more efficient use of road space and to improve safety. The aim of parking policy will be to transfer the expectation that drivers have that they can park anywhere to one where parking will only be allowed in appropriate places that are duly marked. These would specifically exclude pavement parking that can obstruct pedestrians and any parking on green spaces adjacent to roads. Disabled parking would be retained and provided wherever necessary.

TR307 As a use of valuable road space, car parking will become subject more generally to charging. The Green Party supports the widespread introduction of neighbourhood parking schemes (controlled parking zones) that entail residents being charged for on-street parking, and would set guidelines to both reduce on-street parking where it endangers pedestrians and cyclists and to ensure that off-street parking does not degrade a street's environment. In non-residential sections of urban areas, on-street parking should be subject to metering.

TR308 The culture of company car provision and use will be challenged in all ways possible, including financial measures, to achieve a transfer of workplace travel to more sustainable modes.

TR309 The construction of vehicles is at present regulated at a European level, where there is heavy lobbying by motor manufacturers. The Green Party will aim to bring this regulation down to more appropriate levels, and aim for regulations and enforcement that reduce the ability of vehicles to cause harm to others.

TR310 The Green Party would introduce legislation to require manufacturers to install suitable technology in all new motor vehicles such that compliance with speed limits is better achieved. The prescription of the most suitable technology will be based on the best evidence available at the time the legislation is passed and will be reviewed from time to time. The maintenance of such equipment will be covered by the annual vehicle test (MOT).

TR311 The Green Party would reduce the need for people to feel that they need to own their own car. We recognise that while cars may always have a role to play in transport, individual ownership tends to increase usage and create reliance. Where cars are seen as necessary for some travel, we would promote the development of car clubs (the shared use of cars by local residents), where this will effectively reduce the number of car journeys that may otherwise be made or the number of cars parked in the locality, to promote the sharing of cars and journeys.

TR312 Transport advertisements would be regulated, with those that glamorise aspects such as excessive speed being banned. The placing of adverts where they might lead to danger on the road would not be permitted.

TR313 SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) consume more fuel, create more pollution and are more hazardous to other road users than ordinary cars. They are quite unnecessary, especially in urban areas, and their purchase and use should be discouraged. They would be subject to extra taxes and charges beyond those in TR060-070 and advertisements for them would need to include information about their adverse effects on society.

TR314 The Green Party would introduce no new restrictions on the use of historic vehicles and would impose safety and pollution standards appropriate to the age of the vehicle.


TR320 Smaller, low powered motorcycles are generally preferable to cars (especially those with a single occupant) as they take up less road space and are more economic consumers of fuel. However, the Green Party does not wish to see increased use of motorcycles because they emit pollution and noise and can endanger road users. The aim is to encourage much less use of high powered machines and for low powered machines to offer an alternative for those who currently use these or cars and could not transfer to more sustainable modes.

TR321 The Green Party would take measures to encourage a transfer of motor cycle manufacture and use from larger, powerful machines to less powerful ones including scooters and mopeds. These would include setting and enforcing strict noise limits and, for higher powered machines, speed limiters.

TR322 For the safety of other users, the Green Party does not feel it appropriate for motorcyclists to be able to use any priority measures put in for pedestrians and cyclists, including those shared with public transport.


General policies

TR330 The Green Party believes that some of the greatest damage to local communities and the environment has been done by the transfer of freight carriage from water and rail to road and air, and

the increasing size of road vehicles used. The Green Party's aim will be to reverse this trend by:

  1. Reducing the need for freight movement by the implementation of policies to alter the current culture of over consumption.
  2. Promoting the provision of products from local sources.
  3. Using financial incentives to bring large-scale freight carriage back onto water and rail.
  4. Local or regional authorities planning freight movement within their areas on the principle of small-scale delivery vehicles servicing from rail and waterside depots.
  5. Establish facilities for inter-modal freight movement, such as rail depots and waterside wharves.

TR331 In order to encourage the use of rail freight and water borne freight there should be a charge for every container entering the country that continues its journey from its port of entry by road. The ports of entry would include major ports, ferry terminals, airports and the Channel Tunnel terminal. The charge would apply to each TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit). There would be an exemption for any container delivered to a local destination, within 25 miles of the port of entry. The funds raised would be invested in the provision of facilities and enhanced capacity for rail freight and water borne freight.


Policies on road and rail freight follow. For policies on water and air freight, see sections 7 and 8.

Road freight

TR340 Delivery vehicles are not operated in the most efficient manner in terms of reducing mileage and driving times and in load sharing. This is caused by poor delivery systems operated by companies and public organisations. The Green Party would put in measures that would encourage improved scheduling and more combined loads, and to collect return loads after delivery. To this end, a requirement would be made that delivery packaging must be collected for reuse if possible, and returned to the depot by the delivery vehicles.

TR341 National weight limits for delivery vehicles would be set within which local authorities would choose those most applicable for their roads. The aim will be to considerably reduce the size of delivery vehicles, especially in residential areas. The weight limits which we would seek to enact would be 1.5 tonnes, 3 tonnes (which would be the maximum limit in any purely residential area), 7.5 tonnes (which would be the maximum urban limit) and 20 tonnes. To enable this to happen within the current competitive environment, the Green Party will work to change E.U. law to reflect the need for a reduction in weight limits.

TR342 Limits on when delivery vehicles may operate will be set by local authorities, with the aim of causing least problems for local residents. It will be expected that there should be no usage of delivery vehicles in residential areas at night, and that deliveries will aim to avoid rush hours.

TR343 The Green Party will encourage the home delivery of goods by companies (including incentives for small companies to work together for this) so that non-car owners are not excluded from the availability of products and to encourage a reduction in car journeys to retail outlets.

TR344 The Green Party would strictly regulate the working hours and conditions of drivers in the haulage industry to ensure that road safety is paramount.

Rail freight

TR350 To encourage a large scale transfer of freight to rail, plans would need to be drawn up by national, regional and local government. These would include land purchase, to allow for more capacity and larger trains, including 'piggyback' freight trains that carry delivery vehicles by rail.

TR351 The Green Party would introduce a core freight network linking the main conurbations with each other and the Channel Tunnel and main ports. This network would need to initially allow for most containers to be carried on standard floor height flat wagons, with the objective in the longer term of providing for all types of freight carriage. However, the core freight network must not result in loss of passenger services, and should be planned to use opportunities to also improve these. (see TR233)

Water transport


TR400 Water transport is energy efficient, usually has a low environmental impact, and can offer significant benefits to the economy. Well-managed ships generally cause less environmental damage than other motorised methods for the transportation of goods. Ships compare favourably in respect of air pollution, noise and use of land for infrastructure.

Inland and Coastal Waterways

i) Introduction

TR410 The existing infrastructure (canals, rivers and tidal navigations), particularly that for freight carriage, has been neglected for far too long. However, there has been recent development of some canals and rivers for some leisure uses. The Green Party will generally support the development of inland waterways for leisure, passenger and freight uses. (see Tourism policy for details of leisure development)

ii) Water-borne freight

TR411 To allow water-borne freight to be developed efficiently, Britain should adopt the European system of waterway classification which grades waterways by dimensions and carrying capacity. To enable this, specialist consultants (who would need to have experience of the European system) would need to draw up a report which would outline those waterways that can be enlarged to class II standard (600 tonnes) to serve industrial areas, and those waterways that have greater potential to class IV (1350 - 1500 tonnes). This would reduce trans-shipment, pollution and inland transport costs as a result of the economies of scale made possible by the use of larger inland craft.

TR412 Britain's freight waterways could then become increasingly important as extensions to her maritime links. Not only would low-profile coasters attain a deeper penetration into the industrial hinterland, but new technology in canal/ river/ sea transport (such as barge carrying and towing systems, the Integrated Tug Barge (ITB) system and the 'split ship' concept) would also allow direct shipments between inland terminals in Britain and waterside industrial sites throughout the European waterways network, thus giving greater flexibility to shippers.

TR413 The Green Party would strengthen planning guidance in relation to waterways development and would develop regional policies of planning provision for inland ports.

TR414 Planning for future waterways development would be integrated with other transport planning so that future freight waterway development is not constrained by other projects (e.g. provision of adequate air draught at road bridges).

TR415 To enable the above to take place, the Green Party would set up a national water freight unit to coordinate waterway freight development in the UK and to ensure that the UK participates in all EU waterway development programmes. This unit's main tasks would be to:

  1. Identify and protect existing and potential strategic wharf sites and other inter-modal inland port development from other development;
  2. Carry out strategic environmental appraisal for improved waterway access to all major inland conurbations;
  3. Enable research to be accelerated into waterways development, such as that to quantify environmental benefits of water transport and develop methods of assessment of environmental costs and extend research into river-sea shipping systems (sea going vessels that are also suitable for inland navigation);
  4. Develop a national investment plan for inland waterways;
  5. Evaluate other schemes for additional capacity to accommodate traffic generated by policies to switch freight to water.

Passenger transport (ferries)

TR420 Ferries and water buses can play an important part in some local public transport systems, where they provide access along or across rivers or to off-shore islands. Ferry services are also preferable to air transport for providing services across the sea.

TR421 The Green Party supports the further development of waterborne passenger transport, in particular by reviving smaller local ferries that provide routes for pedestrians and cyclists. We would also wish to protect existing vehicle ferries where the alternative would be their replacement by larger infrastructure, such as bridges, or helicopter or air services, or longer road journeys being made due to no suitable alternative local facilities. All these services must be integrated with suitable public transport, and must include provision for the carriage of all passengers needs, including all disabilities, bulky luggage and cycles, which should not bear additional costs to those passengers.

TR422 The Green Party would seek to provide all the necessary infrastructure, such as piers, and maintenance of waterways, through dredging of navigable channels, for the development of these services.

TR423 While recognising that Ro-Ro vessels will have a part to play for carrying smaller road vehicles across rivers, ferry companies will be encouraged to replace them elsewhere, putting instead an emphasis on designing vessels for passenger and rail-freight transport. All Ro-Ro vessels must be able to meet best survival design, refurbishing and updating them as necessary.


i) Introduction

TR430 The Green Party supports the increased use of shipping, particularly for the necessary movement of goods, to reduce the current reliance on more polluting methods of transport over longer distances.

TR431 However, current shipping practices cause unnecessary environmental impact and endanger ships, crew and passengers. The Green Party would strengthen regulations within English and Welsh waters and would work towards better regulations and improved enforcement for international shipping through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

ii) Waste Discharge

TR440 The seas are used as dumping grounds for the majority of waste produced by ships. The Green Party supports the complete elimination of intentional pollution of the marine environment by oil and other harmful substances. On-board incineration of waste/engine room sludge will be banned.

TR441 The Green Party would ensure that adequate waste reception facilities for all types of waste will be available at all ports, and will also ensure that all waste discharges, except at competent port facilities, will be outlawed, including water ballast that produces changes in the marine ecology. All vessels over 5000 DWT must have sufficient space and equipment for waste storage and will be subject to waste auditing at arrival in port. We will require the cleaning of all contaminated tanks before leaving port.

TR442 The Green Party supports the establishment of an international system of environmental indexing for ships, taking into account discharges at sea/ use of waste reception facilities at port, emissions to air, prevention of accidental discharges and operational aspects. Such a system would be used as a basis for setting differential harbour and pilotage duties.

iii) Accidents and Accident Prevention

TR450 Too many lives are lost at sea and too much damage is done to the environment through accidents at sea. Ship design, crewing, operations and routeing must all ensure the highest level of safety for crews, passengers and the environment in which ships operate.

TR451 The Green Party would require a high standard of ship classification to establish in a reliable and consistent manner the seaworthiness of vessels, with the publication of individual vessel details. Any classification societies not complying with these standards would cease to be recognised as bodies competent to classify ships.

TR452 Because of their relative fragility and lack of manoeuvrability, we would require all large tankers to be fitted with double hulls and to be piloted and tug escorted while entering and leaving ports. The Green Party would work on an international basis for a progressive reduction in the maximum size of large tankers and container ships.

TR453 All-weather charter agreements that override the Captain's authority, and thus endangers lives of the crew, would be outlawed.

TR454 All ships would be required to have sufficient numbers of well-trained crew.

TR455 In English and Welsh water, including the full width of the Dover Straits, mandatory routeing will be enforced to protect sensitive sea areas or to reduce the risk of accidents. Mandatory pilotage will be introduced for ships of more than 5000 DWT.

TR456 The Green Party would ensure that an adequate cover of emergency tugboats with sufficient bollard pull exists in English and Welsh waters.

TR457 Charterers would be made economically liable for the environmental damage caused by ships carrying their cargo.

iv) Regulation and Enforcement

TR460 International shipping regulations are all too often not enforced, and prosecution of shipping owners and charterers is rare. The anonymity of ships at sea must be ended. All vessels entering English and Welsh waters must be able to be uniquely identifiable, as aeroplanes are.

TR461 The Green Party wants to see an expansion to port state control. Port state inspectors should have greater sanction over ships to ensure that necessary repair is carried out, that un-seaworthy ships do not leave port, and that all regulations are complied with. All inspections will be subject to the Freedom of Information act (see RR401.

v) Miscellaneous

TR470 The use of Tributyltin (TBT) Anti-Fouling paint will be banned.

TR471 Strict global standards for fuel quality must be developed.

TR472 The Green Party would implement an immediate ban on the shipment of all nuclear fuel, plutonium and high-level radioactive waste.

TR473 All vessels calling at English and Welsh ports would have to meet European minimum employment standards for their crews.

TR474 All major ports should be taken into public ownership.

Air transport


TR500 Heavier-than-air craft are one of the most energy intensive and polluting forms of transport. The worst are supersonic aircraft. Aircraft burn more fossil fuel per passenger or ton-mile than other modes of transport. This profligacy is heavily subsidised by the international agreement to impose zero taxes on aviation fuel.

TR501 Aircraft emit carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and water vapour into the upper atmosphere, which is much more sensitive to pollution than the air at ground level. The greenhouse warming effect of one unit of aviation fuel is generally held to be several times that of fuel burnt by terrestrial modes of transport. Also aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. A large part of this extra warming is caused by the creation of water vapour (as well as carbon dioxide) from the combustion of aviation fuel, which is a mixture of compounds of carbon and hydrogen. Though the water is harmless at or near ground level it has a big effect in the upper atmosphere. This means that there is almost no possibility of reducing aircraft-induced global warming by replacing conventional fuels by hydrogen.

TR502 Air transport is not covered adequately by the Paris Agreement. Emissions from both national and international air travel shall be addressed by country's National Determined Contributions (NDCs).

TR503 Aircraft cause local pollution: noise which damages the health of those living near airports, volatile organic compounds which are carcinogenic, and water pollution from de-icing fluids. Airports also produce pollution from engine testing, paint spraying and the attendant pollution that goes with the large infrastructure and transport to and from the airport.

Aims and Objectives

TR510 The Green Party seeks a reduction in the amount and impact of air transport.

TR511 It is essential that the demand for air transport is managed in a way compatible with wider social and environmental objectives. The Green Party advocates a drastic reduction in the number of journeys made by air for whatever purpose. We must first discourage the growth of air transport.

TR512 The Green Party seeks substitution of air travel wherever possible with less damaging modes of transport, such as ferries, trains and buses. This does not apply to the emergency air services such as mountain rescue or specialist medical services, nor necessarily to air links to remote islands.

Aircraft policies

TR520 The Green Party would implement tougher regulation of aircraft emissions in all categories of chemical pollutants, including greenhouse gases, and of noise, and would introduce tougher emission and noise standards for new aircraft types. The worst kinds of aircraft, such as any supersonic transport aircraft, would be banned, as would night flights over populated areas.

TR521 A rolling programme is needed to phase out older and more damaging aircraft. Meanwhile, the use of such aircraft should be restricted.

TR522 As heavier aircraft have to use more power, burning more fuel and producing more emissions and noise, permitted loads would be reduced.

TR523 The Green Party would regulate more strictly the use of helicopters. These operate in more locations and at much lower heights than almost all other aircraft. Helicopters and heliports are extremely noisy to those nearby.

Infrastructure Policies

TR530 Air transport provision is currently based on the 'predict and provide' scenario, much the same as building more roads has led to increases in road traffic and more congestion. The Green Party believes that building more facilities for air transport must cease. This includes additional terminals and runways at airports, the conversion of disused MoD and smaller airfields into regional or satellite civil airports and the development of more local airports.

TR531 Alternative economic strategies would be developed for each airport including both the possibility of complete conversion to ecological and socially appropriate uses and the maintenance of the airport for restricted purposes consistent with the long-term objective of ecological sustainability, such as use for lighter-than-air craft.

TR532 The additional environmental damage associated with travel to and from airports on the ground can be reduced by encouraging appropriate modes of transport. The Green Party supports the provision of public transport links by rail and road to existing airports, and opposes additional provision for the use of private cars.

TR533 The load and damage at airports is increased by excessive numbers of 'transit' passengers, who generate revenue for airport operators through landing fees and the use of retail facilities before flying on to another destination. Transit passengers should be reduced to a minimum, especially at airports which put a particularly large load on the environment and local communities, such as Heathrow.

TR534 The Green Party is concerned about the development of airports as shopping centres. Such retail rents, etc. account for a very large part of current income for airport operators. The privatised British Airports Authority plc can be seen as primarily a property company. We oppose such development, especially where it is at the expense of existing shopping centres.

TR535 All major airports should be taken into public ownership.

Financial measures

TR540 The Green Party supports emission charges and increased landing charges on aircraft, including Air Traffic congestion charges, to reflect the full cost of the damage their use does to the environment. We consider that local authorities should be empowered to levy such on aircraft landing at airports in their area because of the localised damage and that done by related ground travel.

TR541 The Green Party supports the removal of the various direct and indirect subsidies for air travel, and the adoption instead of fuel taxation and/or charges or levies. We recognise that achieving enough international agreement to make this practicable is difficult, and would seek in the first instance to impose such taxes in the UK. Taxation, charges and/or levies will be easier to introduce and more effective if it is done at a European or even global level, so the Green Party would work with institutions at those levels, as well as the air transport industry bodies such as ICAO and IATA, to introduce them more widely.

TR542 The Green Party notes that air freight in particular exhibits both dramatic growth and by far the highest pollution per weight of goods transported compared with other modes. We would therefore introduce specific UK levies on air freight as well as working towards European and global agreements.

TR543 The Green Party opposes the lifting of public sector borrowing restrictions on local authority controlled airports as this would encourage inappropriate development. Where investment is necessary, notably in air traffic control services and developing public transport links to airports, the expenditure should be recouped through charges on those providing and using air transport, not from general taxation.

TR544 Air transport is an inefficient and capital intensive method of employment creation. Equivalent funds invested in other sectors will provide more jobs per pound spent and offer much more benefit to people and the environment.

Demand management and promotion

TR550 There is insufficient public awareness of the resources wasted and damage done by excessive use of air transport. The Green Party considers that governments should run public awareness campaigns about the impact of air travel on the global climate, the local environment and human health.

TR551 The Green Party will campaign for the UK Government, the European Union and the relevant international bodies, to create a global demand management strategy for air travel, taking into account the excessive use of air transport by 'developed' nations. The taxation of aviation should be set at a level that reflects not just the climate impact relative to other carbon taxes, but at a level high enough to reduce demand for flights.

TR552 Flying is a significant and growing contributor to the climate emergency in the UK and world- wide. In view of the considerable dangers to the health of current and future generations from the promotion of a high-carbon lifestyle, the Green Party will seek to introduce legislative controls on the advertising of air travel.

TR553 Specifically, the Green Party will campaign for UK and/or EU legislation for mandatory warnings to be included on all advertisements for air travel. These warnings would include information about the effects of the climate emergency and details of the carbon dioxide emissions of the flights advertised. The same information would also be included on flight tickets and would take up a significant and specified proportion of the area of each advert/ticket.

TR554 Carbon dioxide emissions would be reported as the average per-passenger emissions. This will be based on published average per-passenger carbon dioxide emissions of the airline on the particular route being travelled, reflecting average occupancy and aircraft payload. Reporting the data in this way would encourage airlines to use aircraft with lower emissions and not to run individual flights with low occupancy rates, in order to reduce their published carbon dioxide emissions for each route. Airlines will be obliged to provide all this information for public scrutiny. It would raise also awareness among consumers of their personal contribution to the climate emergency due to their lifestyle choices.

Regulatory measures

TR560 Prevention of accidents and increasing their survivability must be the priority in the construction, maintenance and operation of aircraft and airports. There is concern that commercial pressure and a lack of sufficient independent regulatory resources in the public sector have reduced safety. For example, 'Kapton' wiring should be banned from civil as well as military aircraft.

TR561 Unsafe operation should lead to sanctions against operators including suspension or removal of licence to operate. Examples include operating aircraft with insufficient fuel for stacking or diversion, and aircraft dropping objects such as 'brown ice', caused by poor maintenance.

TR562 All UK registered commercial aircraft with a take off weight above 5,700kg, using re-circulated air within the aircraft air conditioning system will be required to have high standard HEPA filters to filter the re-circulated air, which must be replaced annually.

TR564 All aircraft flying into UK airports from a region that has serious transmissible disease risk as outlined by the WHO, should have an approved portable air sampling system to monitor the air in-flight. Such a portable air sampling system should on arrival in the UK be able to be quickly taken for microbiological examination to determine whether there are any bacteria or viruses of concern present in the captured air samples. If they are found, the passengers and crew will be traced, advised and treated appropriately.

TR565 All UK registered commercial aircraft with a maximum take off weight in excess of 5,700kg, which use 'bleed air' from the engines or auxiliary power to supply the cockpit and passenger cabin air, must have an adequate 'bleed air' filtration system to remove possible contamination from hydraulic fluids and synthetic jet engine oils that are known to sometimes contaminate the bleed air supply.

TR566 To reduce the probability of disease and infections during air journeys, hygiene standards in airliners are to be raised, especially in airline toilets used not only by passengers but by crews before serving meals to the travelling public.

TR567 The Green Party is committed to the principle and extended practice of independent regulation and inspection by the public sector to ensure the highest standards of aircraft safety in aircraft construction, maintenance and operation. We strongly oppose any effort to privatise any of the regulatory bodies, and if any are privatised, would return them forthwith to public ownership.

TR568 Air traffic control services are a public responsibility and must be managed and provided by the public sector. We oppose any privatisation of air traffic control.

TR569 The Green Party is committed to proper precautions against air piracy and adequate public sector inspection of those on aircraft and at airports. Consideration should be given to refusing licences to operate from the UK to airlines that operate from airports overseas considered to have inadequate security.

TR570 The Green Party supports the banning of those found guilty of in-flight violence or aggression and any other acts that may endanger the flight from future flights, and would ensure that aircrew who took action against them were given the necessary protection. 'Air rage' is a hazard often associated with excess consumption of alcohol before and during the flight, the effects being exacerbated by the in-flight environment. The dispensing, sale and consumption of alcohol at airports and on aircraft should be subject to greater restriction.


Transport chapter updates:


Autumn 2020: new TR049 - 52
Autumn 2017: TR502 replaced
Spring 2015: out-of-date paragraph TR503 removed, TR310 amended, additional wording added to TR233 and TR240.

Spring 2012: TR156 added
Autumn 2011: TR175 amended
Autumn 2009: inserted paras TR474 and TR535
Autumn 2006

The following additional policy statements can be found in the Green Party Record of Policy Statements (RoPS) on Transport available on the Members' website:

  • RTR02.1 Network Railcards Under Threat (Spring 2002)
  • RTR02.1 Proposed Road Tunnel Under the Tyne (Autumn 2002)
  • RTR04.1 The Airports Pledge: mobilising wider opposition to air-port expansions (Autumn 2004)
  • RTR04.2 Renationalise the railways (Autumn 2004)
  • RTR04.3 Proposed new Birmingham-Manchester toll motorway (Autumn 2004)
  • RTR06.1 Richard Branson's Contribution to Combating Climate Change (Autumn 2006)
  • RTR07.1 55mph National Speed Limit (Spring 2007)
  • RTR08.1 Call to Re-nationalise British railways (Spring 2008)
  • RTR08.2 Oppose Aviation Expansion (Spring 2008)
  • RTR08.3 Support for Heathrow Demonstration (Spring 2008)
  • RTR08.4 Daylight Saving (Autumn 2008)
  • RTR08.4 Heathrow Expansion (Spring 2009)

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