Area: Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside
Interests: Aviation, Bus, Cycling, Rail, Road building, Traffic, Transport policy
The North West Transport Activists Roundtable (NW TAR) was established as one of eight Regional Roundtables by the Campaign for Better Transport, then called Transport 2000, in the late 1990s. We lobby for sustainable transport and land use policies and for healthier lives at the sub national, sub regional and local level as well as frequently contributing to campaigns by national non-governmental environmental organisations.
We are members of Voluntary Sector North West (VSNW) and North West Environment Link (NWEL) and often work with other members of those fellow umbrella bodies on issues of common concern. We are not a direct action organisation. We attempt to influence policy making and make it more sustainable by methods such as serving on relevant bodies when allowed to do so, responding to consultations, submitting evidence to House of Commons Select Committees, taking part in public inquiries and examinations in public and raising money for and commissioning reports by experts.
NW TAR subscribes to the findings of the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA) which proved that providing new highway capacity generates new traffic movements and that there is no automatic economic benefit from building new transport infrastructure. We also support the concept of 'Smart Growth' and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, we put a lot of effort into challenging road schemes. In recent years we have been major objectors at public inquiries into the Mottram-Tintwistle Bypass, the Mersey Gateway and the Heysham-M6 Link Road. Currently we are focused on opposing the SEMMMS (South East Manchester Multi Modal Study) network of road schemes and the A556 Improvement. We also have serious concerns about the economic, social and environmental implications of the Government's High Speed Two rail proposal.
What we want to see is more investment in the existing rail system and in other non-motorised methods of traffic which will encourage more people to use alternatives to motorised road transport more often and also more commitment by national and local government to genuinely sustainable land use and to 'smart' measures that help to alleviate the need to travel so that greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced, air quality can improve and more people can live healthier lives. In our opinion, essential concomitants in achieving these aims are:
- An impartial and fairly balanced planning system that has environmental capacity at its heart
- A sound transport appraisal framework, which is strictly adhered to
- The enforcement of the Climate Change Act and measures to achieve carbon reduction targets which the UK is signed up to