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378Options for transport reduction

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  • Metz@integerconsult.org
    Jul 31, 2004
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      This editorial draws attention to another sector, which would benefit
      from a better land use policy and could support LVT. It originates from UK
      communications company BT and several UK-based LandCafe clients will
      know how to involve their decision makers.

      Paul Metz


      UK Transport Strategy: A missed opportunity

      The priorities signalled in the UK Government's new Transport Strategy
      are a huge disappointment for all those organisations which believe that
      harnessing the huge potential of ICT to reduce business-related travel
      should be one of the cornerstones of any coherent policy.

      SustainIT believes that well managed use of ICT, in areas where there is
      empirical evidence of its transport benefits, such as telework and
      audio/video conferencing, should be encouraged where possible to reduce
      the demand for transport, particularly at peak times. Recent research
      commissioned by the DfT claimed that telework could cut car commute
      traffic by up to 6% by 2015, saving 6bn vehicle miles per year - that roughly
      relates to over 2bn kg of CO2.

      SustainIT's pan-European SusTel project (www.sustel.org) - on the
      sustainability dimensions of telework - found that, across its 6 surveys
      of organisational telework schemes, the mean estimated reduction in weekly
      commuting was 174km. The research suggests that, amongst the surveyed
      organisations, teleworking is significantly reducing non-business
      travel, even when short-term offsetting or rebound effects are taken into

      Although telework may well continue to grow irrespective of policy
      intervention, there is a strong demand, particularly in the large
      operational industry sector, which currently is not being satisfied.
      This latent demand needs to be encouraged so that the real potential of
      telework to reduce travel and related emissions can be realised.

      Finally, more research is required in other areas where ICT can have a
      potential positive impact, but where empirical evidence is lacking, such
      as e-commerce and home shopping. If you have any views, mail them to us at