The new law seeks 'to reduce the adverse environmental, social and economic impacts of road traffic'. This will be achieved by setting targets for road traffic reduction, or - if the secretary of state believes that other measures would be more effective - by showing how these will cut traffic levels. The Act therefore puts traffic reduction at the heart of transport planning, requiring all government transport policies to be designed within a traffic reduction framework.
Roger Higman, senior transport campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:
'Friends of the Earth is delighted that parliament has passed the Road Traffic Reduction (UK Targets) Act. This is a crucial piece of transport legislation as it commits the government to reducing traffic rather than trying to accommodate it, bringing enormous benefits for society, the environment and the economy. We are extremely grateful to everyone who backed the Bill and in particular Cynog Dafis MP and Lord Elis-Thomas for guiding it through parliament.
Mike Woodin, principal speaker for the Green party said:
'This new law is a crucial step forward in the battle to improve the environment we live in. The government must now act swiftly to introduce measures for a sustainable transport system.'