The challenge of creating an environmentally sustainable transport strategy is to move away from high dependence on road transport and the satisfaction of the demand for car use towards a balanced 'demand management' approach offering real choice to travellers while maintaining levels of accessibility. Government is, at least in principle, backing this change of approach. 1

The Departments of Transport (DTp), and of Trade and Industry (DTI) are at best ambivalent about the shifting emphasis. Local transport authorities - shire counties, metropolitan districts and London boroughs - are not free agents. Their freedom of action is largely constrained by DTp funding criteria which are stil l geared to road provision rather than public transport. At the same time other agencies such as Railtrack, private rail and bus operators, freight firms and development companies are making decisions within their respective remits. Transport authorities therefore have limited room for manoeuvre.