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Roads to Nowhere

Campaigners warn that Cameron’s ‘roads to prosperity’ are a significant waste of public money

13 November
Campaign for Better Transport calls for an audit of the Roads Investment Strategy

Campaign for Better Transport today wrote to Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, asking for scrutiny of the Government’s Roads Investment Strategy, proclaimed by the Prime Minister on Monday, in order to avoid millions of pounds of public money being wasted on discredited road schemes.

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“There have been good reasons – cost, value for money and environmental impacts – that have stopped these large road building projects in the past, but the Government is pushing ahead with them and dropping alternative solutions that offer much better value and protection for recognised natural beauty spots. It’s essential that there is an audit of the process that allowed this to happen, before our taxes pay for tarmac that tears up the countryside without solving traffic problems.”

Whilst the campaign group supports the principle of a long term strategy for roads it has major concerns about the blinkered way it has focused on new capacity and how the Strategy was created, namely the 18 'Route Strategies' carried out by the Highways Agency and the six 'Feasibility Studies' carried out by the Department for Transport itself.

Stephen Joseph continued:

“Areas including the Peak District and Stonehenge are threatened by the Roads Investment Strategy, which favours large scale building such as dualling and bypasses and ignores the sustainable, cost-effective alternatives that we supported environmental and community groups to develop. The Strategy as it stands isn’t good value for money by the Government’s own standards.”

ENDS

 

For further information please contact Chloë Darlington at Campaign for Better Transport, on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or chloe.darlington@bettertransport.org.uk

 

Notes to Editors
 

  1. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).
  2. David Cameron set out the Government’s Road Investment Strategy at Monday’s CBI Annual Conference: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cbi-annual-conference-2014-prime-ministers-address.
  3. Campaign for Better Transport blog detailing many of the road schemes in the Roads Investment Strategy: http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/blog/roads/101114-cameron-roads-for-prosperity.
  4. Letter from Stephen Joseph, Campaign for Better Transport, to Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee