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Transport campaigners respond to Autumn Statement

23 November 2016

Reacting to today’s Autumn Statement, Campaign for Better Transport rues missed opportunity to set us on path to low carbon future and support everyday transport.

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

On Roads:

"While the Government has rightly committed to focusing on smaller local projects which can deliver better value, it is still wasting too much on big road building schemes. Schemes such as the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway and duelling the A66 across the Pennines will only increase traffic - what's needed instead is more support for alternatives to driving including rail and bus infrastructure.

“It's a missed opportunity to set us on path to low carbon future with a focus on better, greener growth with better and cheaper alternatives to car travel."

On Rail:

"We welcome plans for East-West Rail which will give real opportunity to embrace truly sustainable development for the 21st century and help bring real economic growth to the area. 

“We are extremely disappointed that the Chancellor has failed to take the opportunity to announce a fares freeze for Southern commuters, which would have gone some way to compensate those passengers for the significant disruptions they have experienced this year. The Mayor of London has announced a fares freeze in the capital, and it’s a shame the Chancellor has not followed his example.

“The allocation of £80 million to accelerate the roll out of smart ticketing is encouraging, and we hope this will bring in equal season ticket discounts for the millions of part time commuters.”

On Buses:

"Despite buses being the most popular form of public transport by far, and losses to supported services accelerating in rural areas, the Chancellor yet again has missed the opportunity to step in.

“Buses across the country are being cut at an alarming rate as local authorities struggle with cuts to their funding. Millions of people who are ‘just about managing’ rely on a good bus service to access education, jobs and services and buses help support independent living and many other benefits. Also, as bus use declines as fares rise, and the cuts take hold, more cars are forced onto roads and people without access to a car are getting more isolated, especially in rural areas. The Government must introduce a national investment strategy for buses.”

On Cycling and Walking:

“We are disappointed that the Chancellor did not say anything about the forthcoming Cycling and Walking Strategy. Without any actual investment in this strategy it is difficult to see how the targets to increase cycling and reverse the decline in walking, especially to schools, will be met.”

On Air pollution / Fuel duty:

“We are disappointed the Chancellor has chosen to freeze fuel duty yet again. This will do nothing to address air pollution from transport or reduce congestion. If the UK is to reduce air pollution to within legal limits as soon as possible, then we need a much more robust Air Quality Strategy, a commitment to reduce the number of private vehicles on the roads and more incentives to support public transport, walking and cycling.”

ENDS

For further information please contact Richard Watkins on 020 7566 6494 / 07984 773 468 or richard.watkins@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

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)