10 June 2010: The Government has announced plans for reducing local authority grants and it's bad news for public transport.
Budgets have been cut for kickstarting bus services (Kickstart) and small scale schemes including improvements to buses, walking and cycling (the Integrated Transport Block). Roads will also become less safe as road safety budgets have been slashed (the Road Safety grant).
Making it difficult for people to travel sustainably and safely is not smart, and it doesn't seem as though the Government is looking at all the options. The loss of these funding streams will save £217 million a year, but the Government could raise over double that amount by taxing the fuel on domestic flights. This would prioritise local public transport over carbon intensive planes.
We've put together some smarter plans for the transport budget which we'll publish next week, showing how the Government could make sensible cuts, raise more money and spend wisely.
The good news is that the Government has postponed the public inquiry into the A14. Let's hope they scrap the plan altogether and save £1.3 billion!