9 December 2009
Today’s Pre-Budget Report announced that that the Department for Transport will be launching a study aimed at reducing future rail industry costs while increasing capacity.
In reaction, Stephen Joseph, executive director of Campaign for Better Transport, said:
"A review of how much the railway costs to run is long overdue. But the review mustn’t be cover for the Treasury cutting back on commitments like new carriages and increasing capacity. And the review must have as an overriding aim to reduce the cost of rail fares, which are already the most expensive in Europe and which the Department for Transport wants to carry on increasing above the rate of inflation year and after year. The Government should look at whether the public sector provides better value for money by evaluating the Government’s operation of the East Coast franchise."
Campaign for Better Transport also welcomed the announcement of further rail electrification and changes to company car rules to encourage greener travel. Stephen Joseph continued:
"Further rail electrification and changes to company car taxation are further welcome steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport. But Government needs to set out a clear strategy to make greener forms of transport like buses and trains cheaper to achieve the scale of change needed to fulfil any commitments coming out of Copenhagen. "
Notes to editors