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Government Industrial Strategy neglects high value local transport services

23 January 2017

Responding to the publication of the Government's Industrial Strategy Green Paper today, James MacColl, Head of Campaigns, said:

"The Government is right to identify upgrading transport infrastructure as a key part of its new industrial strategy. However too much money is being wasted on damaging big schemes, while high value local transport services continue to be neglected. It is also notable that there is no mention of buses or cycling in the green paper. Local authority supported bus services are being cut back across the country, and the promised Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy is still yet to be published.

"We welcomed the extra funding to upgrade local transport announced in the Autumn Statement, but it is not clear yet exactly what that will be spent on. We must avoid the mistakes of the past by wasting it on new roads which will create new traffic, and get more bang for the taxpayers' buck by investing hard in the local transport services people rely on every day like buses, local road maintenance, and our beleagured rail network which is bursting at the seams."

ENDS

For further information please contact Alice Ridley on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or alice.ridley@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).

The Government has launched a consultation on a new industrial strategy. See all the details including the "Building our Industrial Strategy: green paper" which sets out the Government's proposals, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/building-our-industrial-strategy

Since 2010, local authorities in England and Wales have cut £78 million from support for bus services, resulting in over 2,400 routes being reduced or withdrawn altogether. See our Buses In Crises report here.

Campaign for Better Transport is calling for measures including:

  • A national bus investment strategy to be introduced in the Bus Services Bill, currently being considered by the House of Commons. This would give the same kind of long term commitment for support for buses that is provided for rail and roads.
  • A Northern Powerhouse transport strategy which prioritises sustainable transport and avoids the mistakes of the past by building new roads which would create new traffic.
  • The forthcoming Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy to include investment, not just strategy. To deliver the cycling revolution we need, investment in cycling must be ramped up to £10 per capita by 2020.
  • The Government to widen its interest in transport technology beyond autonomous electric vehicles to include smart ticketing, real time information, and management of road and rail networks, supporting the large number of UK jobs in these sectors. Read the Smarter Travel forum manifesto here.