The UK Government School Travel Advisory Group [STAG] was established to address concerns about school journeys. It involves a wide range of experts from the fields of transport, education, local authorities, unions business and those involved in accident prevention. As many as one-in-five cars on the roads at peak times ferry children to school and, although many parents believe that it would be healthier for children to walk or cycle, they are concerned about safety on the way to and from school. STAG will look at ways to make school travel safer and to suggest alternatives to making separate trips in the car.
The UK Government's White Paper on the Future of Transport [A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone], published in July 1998, set out the Government's policies for reducing dependency on the car. It also stresses the importance of actions by others and not just central and local Government, and in particular the part that major employers can play by preparing green commuter plans which help employees to use alternatives to driving to work alone. The Government set itself a target that all Departmental HQ and main buildings occupied by Executive Agencies and Government Offices for the regions should have green transport plans by March 1999 and all other key buildings by March 2000.
The UK Government also invited businesses to encourage environmental action by their employees and develop, where possible, Green Transport Plans. The Government, in return, would: (1) offer free exhaust emission checks in company car parks; (2) keep up the momentum of the Doing Your Bit campaign, by providing companies with information about how individuals can make a difference to both their local and the global environment; (3) offer energy efficiency presentations from local energy efficiency advice centres which can be reinforced by DIY home energy checks; (4) offer information and advice on developing Green Transport plans; and (5) provide advice on improving the fuel efficiency of fleet vehicles.
The Mobility Tomorrow project, developed by the Institute for Environmental Education aims at building socially and environmentally friendly mobility habits among young people. The motto "Don't drive a car!" has proved to be ineffective. "Be mobile with intelligence!" is a better way to approach. The project identified three key players: parents, driving schools, and schools, and aimed at increasing safety, encouraging pro-social behaviour, reducing/avoiding environmental impact, and economic efficiency. The project is of great interest both to the government, which wants it to be incorporated in the curriculum, and to insurance agencies.
Daimler Chrysler has formed a a consortium involving 30 government, private sector and research organizations around the world to test sustainable transport systems. Western Australia's project, called the STEP (Sustainable Transport for the Environment of Perth) trial, will involve the trialling of 3 Daimler Chrysler fuel cell buses from early 2004.