HAVING REGARD to Article 5 b) of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14 December 1960;

HAVING REGARD to the Recommendation of the Council of 26 May 1972 on Guiding Principles concerning International Economic Aspects of Environmental Policies [C(72)128];

CONSIDERING that urban areas are the home of a vast and ever growing proportion of Member countries' populations;

CONSIDERING that air pollution, noise, congestion and accidents which result from motorised traffic severely hinder attempts to improve the quality of urban life;

CONSIDERING that the need to lessen dependence on private automobiles is reinforced by the necessity to conserve energy resources;

CONSIDERING that certain measures to reduce the adverse effects of traffic can be implemented on a relatively short time scale and do not necessarily require large capital investment;

CONSIDERING that solutions to urban environmental problems cannot be found on a piecemeal basis but require a comprehensive urban policy approach;

On the proposal of the Environment Committee;

I.          RECOMMENDS that Member countries:

1.         Seek to strike a better balance between private and public transportation by encouraging local authorities and other responsible bodies, particularly in congested cities, to expand and improve the quality of transportation services, and to encourage the use of means of transport other than private automobiles whenever these alternative means are or can be made available;

2.         Include in the above efforts, traffic management and other measures which can be implemented at relatively low cost - such as bus priority measures, provision of bicycle-ways, car pooling, traffic signal systems, parking control and establishment of car-free areas;

3.         Complement the above policies with low-cost measures to improve the quality of the local environment, for example through the creation of small parks and open spaces, pedestrian areas, and conservation of the urban landscape;

4.         Support and encourage further experimental projects aimed at demonstrating the feasibility and financial, environmental and urban development implications of the measures referred to above and co-operate in the international dissemination of this experience;

5.         In the longer run, seek to reduce the need for transportation through comprehensive land use and transportation planning and through other measures affecting the patterns of human activities.

II.         INSTRUCTS the Environment Committee:

1.         To continue its examination of national policies and programmes for traffic limitation and its assessments of their costs and effectiveness with emphasis on measures which can be implemented at relatively low cost;

2.         To assess the action taken pursuant to this Recommendation and report thereon to the Council;

3.         To carry out this work in conjunction with other appropriate bodies of the Organisation and with the European Conference of Ministers of Transport.