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Volume 455: debated on Monday 15 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what regard he will have to the Visioning and Backcasting for UK Transport Policy report published in 2005 in relation to his decision making for the M6 widening proposals between junctions 11A and 19, with particular reference to the policies that will be necessary to meet the Government’s targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. (114278)

The Visioning and Backcasting for UK Transport Policy (VIBAT) study examined a range of policy measures (technological and behavioural) and assessed how they could be effectively combined to achieve a reduction in emissions.

Whilst this study highlighted a potential range of options available for addressing carbon emissions from transport, it was intended to test a research methodology and to stimulate thinking, not to define Government policy. Its partial analysis did not consider either the costs of measures proposed nor the most cost-effective and practical savings across the whole of the economy. However, many of the policies identified in the report were considered as part of the Climate Change Programme Review, some of which are now being taken forward, such as the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation.

The proposed M6 widening scheme will be assessed—as with all major transport schemes—using the Department’s New Approach to Appraisal and Value for Money guidance. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 December 2006, Official Report, column 735W.