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Major Road Network plans a missed opportunity to fix roads and transport, say campaigners

23 December 2017

Responding to the Government's Major Road Network consultation launched today, Campaign for Better Transport welcomed the plan to pass on some of the National Roads Fund to local authorities but said that it will yet again reward big new road projects rather than fix the roads and transport network we have.

Bridget Fox, Sustainable Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said:

"While we welcome the broadening of the Government's proposed Roads Fund to include local authority roads, tying it to funds for big new bypasses and road widening neglects the most important priorities, and could actually make transport worse.

"This vital funding should support a ‘fix it first’ approach, reducing the £12 billion local road maintenance backlog, improving safety, and also funding local packages of transport measures, including improvements to public transport, walking and cycling. We know from previous experience that just building big roads adds to traffic and moves the jams down to the next bottleneck. Integrated packages will do more to solve local congestion and also help councils clean up air pollution.  

"This is a missed opportunity to fix local transport problems, and with rail fares set to rise, and bus services facing cuts, communities looking to the Government for an early Christmas present will be disappointed by the continued lack of investment in everyday transport."  


For further information please contact Richard Watkins, Press Officer, at Campaign for Better Transport on 020 7566 6494 / 07984 773468  richard.watkins@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to editors

  • The DfT’s consultation documents will be available here from 12.15am, Saturday 23 December
  • Read our Rising to the Challenge: a shared green vision for RIS2 report which on 31 August was presented to the Department for Transport as part of the evidence base for the next Road Investment Strategy.
  • The joint report has been co-ordinated by Campaign for Better Transport with support from the British Horse Society, Campaign for National Parks, ClientEarth, CPRE, Cycling UK, Friends of the Earth, the Heritage Alliance, Living Streets, Noise Abatement  Society, Plantlife, Ramblers, Sustrans, the UK Noise Association, the Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, and WWF.
  • The report sets out three key principles for RIS2:
    • Fix it First, focusing on making improvements to the existing network, including green retrofit
    • An integrated strategy, including better links with local and non-motorised transport
    • Environmental leadership, prioritizing cutting carbon & air pollution, and protecting the landscape and biodiversity.
  • Read about Campaign for Better Transport’s road campaigning work here - Evidence shows that new roads create new traffic 
  • 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).