Planning for the future of our roads – time to do better
CPRE Sussex calls for a fundamental rethink of the national transport strategy.
Highways England’s ‘Vision for route strategies: Planning for the future of our roads’ gives insufficient weight to environmental and social aspects of decision-making and therefore fails to promote innovative thinking about the planet’s resources and our relationship to them.
The Vision is flawed as it gives little or no acknowledgement to the central need to ensure that all programmes, plans and projects are based on a consideration of sustainable development. It represents an old-fashioned single-issue approach to transport where the basic idea is that building more roads is a good thing and that thinking about the environment is not needed. This needs correction.
In its response, CPRE Sussex advises that eight key environment policy factors need to be part of the ‘Vision’ . These are:
climate change; biodiversity net gain; local Nature Recovery Networks; protected Landscapes, such as National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Green Belts; water; noise and dark skies; air quality; and natural capital and ecosystem services.
CPRE Sussex is a member of the South Downs Network. In its response the Network highlights the need to reduce carbon emissions; protect nature, biodiversity and national parks; secure sustainable economic recovery, biodiversity net gain and better public transport; while avoiding induced traffic caused by increasing road capacity.