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Time for the DfT to be pro-transport rather than anti-car

In the wake of Gwyneth Dunwoody’s savaging of the Department for Transport (DfT) as ‘a terrible picture of failure’, the Association of British Drivers (ABD) believes the department needs to change its priorities.

Mark McArthur-Christie, the Association of British Drivers’ Director of Policy, said “Since John Prescott’s integrated transport policy, the DfT has often appeared keener to develop measures that make driving harder rather than finding ways to give people real, viable transport choices.”

The ABD argues if the department wants to ease congestion, it needs to see the car as a key tool in a ‘transport toolbox’ along with other modes. It believes that people need to be free to choose the best mode for them and their journeys. Deliberately making one mode more unattractive than others simply hamstrings travellers.

The ABD says the DfT’s Integrated Transport Policy failed because it focused on discouraging car use rather than encouraging viable alternatives. The group now says a change of emphasis is vital away from ‘some modes good, other modes bad’ to a truly integrated approach which matches the transport mode with the journey.

McArthur-Christie concludes “We need to get the ideology out of transport. The car is a tool like any other. It’s great for some jobs and no use at all for others. We’d love to see the DfT promoting the idea of a properly integrated ‘transport toolbox’ that gets people to pick the best tool for the job.”