9 November 2015
Reacting to the news that the Department for Transport has provisionally agreed a spending cut of 30 per cent with the Chancellor, Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said:
“We fear that this huge cut in spending will hit everyday transport, the transport networks people use on a daily basis, whilst big road and rail schemes will remain untouched. We await details, but we fear this will mean more potholes in local roads, more cuts in local bus services, and less funding for safe cycling and walking routes.
“In order to protect the transport that most people use every day, we’d like to see buses get the funding they need by investing in a ‘Transport into Work' fund, which would help overcome the transport barriers to employment and would replace the successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund. We’re also calling on the Government to use its rail franchise premium income to make good on their promises for fairer fares and flexible ticketing for part time workers.”
The announcement comes on the day Campaign for Better Transport released a report showing that government income from rail franchise premiums could increase to up to £3.7bn by 2020, driven by passenger growth and improved cost management. The transport charity is calling for this windfall to be reinvested back into the railways by providing better ticketing for passengers, including flexible season tickets for part time workers, which the Government committed to trial in its rail fares and ticketing review.
The report recommended several initiatives the windfall could be spent on including:
- 3 day a week season tickets (cost: £200m)
- Switching the measure of inflation used to calculate regulated fare increases from the Retail Prices Index to the Consumer Prices Index (cost: £140m)
- Fair single leg pricing for off-peak travel (cost: £270m)
- Free travel for children aged 11 and under in England and Wales (cost: £210m)
For further information please contact Alice Ridley on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
- The full report, Rail Funding Projections and Suggested Passenger Facing Initiatives, which was produced by Credo for Campaign for Better Transport, is available here.
- In October, Campaign for Better Transport called on the Chancellor to introduce a ‘Transport into Work’ fund in the Spending Review to replace the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, which was launched in 2011 and provided £600m for 96 sustainable transport schemes across England. The new Transport into Work fund would provide funding for targeted initiatives that help overcome transport barriers to employment by creating new transport new links between communities and employment areas and supporting businesses and employers with transport issues.
- There is currently a £12bn backlog of repairs to the local road network (Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey 2015)
- The Conservative Manifesto 2015 included this commitment to cycling: “We want to double the number of journeys made by bicycle and will invest £200m to make cycling safer, so we reduce the number of cyclists and other road users killed or injured on our roads every year.” (page 14).
- Campaign for Better Transport is due to release a report into the disastrous effect of spending cuts on the local supported bus network next week.
- 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).