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Reforming Rail Franchising

Response by the Campaign to Protect Rural England to the Department for Transport?s Consultation

Continental experience shows clear benefits of local control for local rail services. The greatest successes in increasing rail use through devolving control have been in rural areas and CPRE believes that reform of rail franchising should enable more local innovation for rail, as well as ensuring minimum standards.


Regulating Air Transport: Consultation on Proposals to Update the Regulatory Framework

A Response by CPRE to the Department for Transport?s Consultation

The Campaign to Protect Rural England welcomes reform to the Civil Aviation Authority’s objectives to ensure it safeguards the public interest in the use of airspace.  The CAA’s purpose should be to safeguard public interest as to how airspace is used rather than the more narrow issue of benefits for consumers of flights.


Response to consultation on HS2 phase 2

This response focuses on the proposals for phase 2 of High Speed 2 rather than wider principles. Besides raising concerns about some of the impacts of the proposed route, such as to Green Belt, areas of tranquillity and canals, it highlights the failure to integrate planning for HS2 into wider planning for an expanded rail network and, for example, enable more regional trains to run on the proposed high speed network.


Response to Local Transport Plan Consultation

New guidance on Local Transport Plans proposes a a 'new relationship' between the Department for Transport and local authorities' Local Transport Plans.  While welcoming greater flexibility, CPRE is concerned that without new powers and common indicator sets it will become harder to reduce carbon emissions and integrate transport with land use planning.


Response to Road Safety Compliance Consultation

CPRE believes that plans to increase compliance with road safety laws need to be rural proofed.  Driver retraining needs to include giving more consideration to vulnerable road users, such as on country lanes, while graduated fixed penalties for speeding will have limited impact in rural areas unless the default 60mph limit is reduced.


Response to the refresh of the Setting Local Speed Limits Circular

The Campaign to Protect Rural England believes the changes to the use of 20mph in urban areas as a significant step in the right direction but remains concerned that no change is proposed for rural speed limits, particularly on country lanes. We welcome the recognition of the wider impact of speed limits but believe that updated guidance should to follow the new circular to prevent confusion and encourage lighter touch traffic calming.


Rural Reconnections

The social benefits of rail reopening

The cost of reinstating railway lines to modern standards can be significant. This is therefore only likely to happen where there is a compelling reason to do so. But with the demand for rail growing year on year, investment in rail capacity between and within our major cities is proving essential. So this report asks – by way of a case study – whether it is now time to consider whether railways in rural areas should be expanded, too.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) commissioned Greengauge 21 to examine the wider impacts of reopening the Plymouth – Tavistock – Okehampton – Exeter railway, as a second main line for Devon and Cornwall. Until now, the investment case has been driven by a need to ensure that the South West is not cut off by severe weather and landslips on the existing line. The event driving the examination of this proposal was the lengthy closure of the line after sea damaged the railway line at Dawlish in February 2014.

So far, little consideration has been given to how a second line could better serve the rural area through which it passes. This report considers these local economic and social impacts of such a move.


Taxes and Charges on Road Users

Memorandum of Evidence by CPRE to the Transport Select Committee Inquiry

CPRE believes that the environmental and social costs of more road traffic are now exceeding the benefits. While there are special circumstances in more remote rural areas, overall, we believe road users, particularly HGVs, ought to pay more to reflect these costs and improve public transport. This report outlines why road user taxes and charges need to be better enforced, with a greater proportion of revenue going go directly to improve access to public transport in rural areas.


The carbon impacts of High Speed 2

This report highlights that the first phase of HS2 would lead to a modest reduction in carbon, while adding substantial transport capacity. Greater carbon reduction can be achieved by sensible complementary policy measures and by making full use of the capacity that HS2 will release on the existing railway. 

In addition, the beneficial carbon effect is increased fourfold by the planned extension of HS2 further north and by better connections with the rail network. The Government’s plans for high-speed rail can therefore help meet carbon emissions targets but only if supported by a set of bold policy initiatives.


The end of the road? Challenging the road-building consensus

 Watch our animation summarising the report and download below:

This CPRE report reveals that road-building is failing to provide the congestion relief and economic boost promised, while devastating the environment. It directly challenges government claims that ‘the economic gains from road investment are beyond doubt’; that road-building will lead to ‘mile a minute’ journeys; and that the impact on the environment will be limited ‘as far as possible’. The report shows how road building over the past two decades has repeatedly failed to live up to similar aims.

The report is based on a study commissioned by CPRE and carried out by consultants Transport for Quality of Life (TfQL), which examined 86 official studies of completed road schemes. The TfQL research is available here.


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