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Review of White Paper "Transport Policy" 1977 and Nuffield Foundation paper "A Policy for Transport" 1977

A double review published in "Political Quarterly" in 1978. (Published online 2005 - copyright with Wiley, access it here.)

The documents reviewed were:
Department of Transport White Paper "Transport Policy", HMSO 1977, CMND 6836; and

Nuffield Foundation "A Policy for Transport", being papers presented to a conference at Nuffield Lodge, 1977.

The Nuffield collection of papers (including those of Christopher Foster, Mayer Hillman, Alexander Gray, Peter Hills, Ray Thomas and Richard Pryke) "illustrates the diversity of views and emphases that exist in the transport field. It thus provides a background to understanding the Government's difficulties in attempting to formulate transport policies"

The review was highly critical of the Government Transport Policy White Paper, saying that it lacked any vision for the future, and "the Department of Transport is still largely engaged in trend planning rather than normative planning." [This debate was still rumbling on 30-40 years later, although 'trend planning' had become 'predict and provide'.]

The review concluded with the opinion that the final paragraph of the 1977 White Paper should have been its starting point: "For the future we should aim to reduce our absolute dependence on transport, see that transport makes its contribution to the conservation of energy resources, and key transport into our wider policies for the environment and our views of how we want our communities to develop"

Apart from the absence of reference to climate change and pollution, this Government statement could have been written yesterday.
Article TitleTransport Policies
Article AuthorTim Pharoah
JournalPolitical Quarterly January, 1978
IssueVolume 49, Issue 1, pages 82-85, January 1978


Transport Policy, Government transport policy, TRansport White Ppaer 1977, CMND 6836

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