24 May 2010: The Chancellor George Osborne has announced cuts of £6.2 billion, with £683 million coming from the Department for Transport.
The Department is now facing a spending cut of 5.1% - more than the overall 2.6% cut. But the real issue is how this will be achieved. David Laws, the Liberal Democrat chief secretary, said he wants to 'protect the frontline services that people rely on'. We think this should mean protecting spending on buses, trains and road maintenance, while cutting expensive roadbuilding projects.
We're concerned that the Department plans to cut £309 million from its budget for local authorities. We're waiting for more information on how this would be done, but it could have a disastrous impact on local bus services. Cutting public transport would be bad news for the economy and the environment as well as the millions of people who rely on it. Cutting the roadbuilding budget instead could make for cleaner, greener, better transport - and serious deficit reduction at the same time.