The then government's White Paper on the future of transport, entitled "A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone", was released in July 1998. This document recognised that the environmental impacts of the growth of road traffic may be a threat to sustainable development and emphasised the need to reduce those impacts. It outlined plans for reform in the transport sector, including electronic tolls, taxes on workplace parking, and initiatives aimed at reducing fuel consumption. Proceeds from new income streams were to be used within local transport plans to enhance traffic management and greatly improve public transport policies.
Three key themes to emerge from the White Paper in relation to climate change were:
- Improving fuel efficiency of road transport, for example through increases in road fuel duties.
- Reducing car dependence, especially in urban areas, through better planning and promotion of public transport, cycling and walking.
- Recognising that measures may be needed to manage or restrain road traffic, especially in urban areas. It Is not a current statement of government policy.