London, 3 Nov 1999.
For immediate release.

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Government Tells Nurses to Get on their Bikes
New plans to slash parking will force nurses, students and people visiting hospitals to use public transport, walk or cycle.
Leading drivers group The Association of British Drivers (ABD) revealed today that new Government legislation plans to axe the number of parking spaces allowed for new hospitals, colleges, retail and leisure developments.

A new Government document, Planning and Policy Guidance 13 (PPG13), sets out harsh new ways of stopping travellers from using their cars:

"These new planning guidelines show just how hardline the Government has become with its anti-car policies", says the ABD's Roads and Traffic Spokesman, Mark McArthur-Christie. "It is time for planners and politicians to realise that people need freedom and choice to travel in the best way for them. They need to listen to what travellers really want, and recognise that the car is a central part of modern life. These guidelines will force people out of their cars and onto inadequate public transport."

The Government's pilot study to examine how the new controls will work was based on a questionnaire sent to 149 local authorities. Officials received just 56 responses, yet the new planning guidelines were pushed ahead and published last week. "This is all too typical of transport planning", states McArthur-Christie, "any consultation is a closed shop, and the public are shut out until it's too late to react."

Congestion is likely to worsen as drivers have to hunt harder for ever more elusive parking spaces, increasing congestion on the roads. This will in turn provide fodder for proposed local authority congestion charging, creating a vicious circle for drivers.

The impacts of the new legislation are also likely to hit expanding businesses hard and damage the competitiveness of shopping and leisure developments.

McArthur-Christie concludes "This new legislation - along with so many other anti-car policies - takes choice away from the traveller. People should have a choice of how they travel using the car when they want to, or public transport if it's good enough."

 

Notes for Editors