Local authorities would be required to produce transport policies that cut carbon emissions under an amendment proposed this week to the Local Transport Bill. Labour MP for Sheffield Attercliffe Clive Betts, who tabled the amendment, said: "We need to put climate change at the top of the agenda. That means encouraging local authorities to do everything they can to cut emissions from transport in their areas."

The Campaign for Better Transport pointed out that the current bill fails to mention climate change. It argued that the 60 per cent carbon reduction target by 2050 set out in the Climate Change Bill will not be met if emissions are not tackled at a local level. The group is encouraging all MPs to support the amendment.

"Local authority transport policies influence everyone's travel choices, particularly for shorter journeys. Cutting bus services, for example, pushes people back into their cars," said the organisation's public transport campaigner Cat Hobbs. She added: "The government must use the Local Transport Bill to ensure that local authorities help meet climate change targets." The bill was proposed in the House of Lords last year and is expected to reach report stage in the next few weeks.