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Real test of Government's Decision Making Review will be how it is applied

27 April 2011
Campaign for Better Transport has welcomed the Department for Transport’s Decision Making Review, but warns its real test will be how it is put into practice and highlighted the need for a proper transport strategy to support it.

Campaign for Better Transport's chief executive, Stephen Joseph, said: “The review and associated changes to transport appraisal include many changes we’ve been arguing for, including looking at a wider range of options, testing proposals to see how well they fit with transport policies, and changing some of the technical detail in the appraisal. This is very welcome, but the real test will be how this plays out in practice. If it results in transport decisions that reduce traffic and carbon emissions and improve alternatives to cars and lorries, then it will be worthwhile. However, the review shows up the lack of a national transport strategy against which projects can be tested.”

The first real test of this new decision-making approach will be the various local authority transport schemes in the Government's ‘development pool’, on which decisions are due at the end of the year. Campaign for Better Transport is pushing for the new system to give priority to funding schemes that improve public transport and the public realm, over big destructive road schemes.

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. Campaign for Better Transport has been arguing for reform to the transport appraisal process for some years. In particular:
-    disaggregating time savings so that it is clear which schemes rely on valuing savings of a few seconds by lots of motorists
-    removing fuel duty revenue from part of the appraisal to avoid giving priority to schemes that increase the use of fuel by motorists
-    measuring the impact of schemes on carbon emissions
-    requiring an early assessment of different options rather than a focus on a specific scheme.

3. The environmental think-tank and charity Green Alliance produced a report in 2009, The right route: improving transport decision-making, which assessed five real-life case studies to see how they would fare under the Government’s revised transport appraisal framework and decision-making process.