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Campaign for Better Transport: response to Budget statement

22 June 2010
Responding to today’s Budget announcement of approval for regional public transport schemes, Campaign for Better Transport Executive Director Stephen Joseph said:

“We’re pleased that the Government is giving the go-ahead to improving good public transport in places like Sheffield and Manchester. But our own research suggests that the 25% cuts being called for from transport will mean that public transport services will suffer, and lead to vital road-safety and maintenance budgets also being squeezed.

“A lot of the hard choices will now have to take place in the spending review over the summer. The choices made in the review need to make sure we have ‘smarter cuts’ that get rid of costly legacy road-building projects and make what we’ve got work better.”

Commenting on the proposed fair fuel stabiliser, Stephen Joseph said: “A fuel-duty stabiliser might sound good when you’re looking for votes ahead of an election, but the fact that George Osborne has asked the Office for Budget Responsibility to examine the idea suggests that he knows that it won’t be workable in practice.”

Notes to Editors:

Campaign for Better Transport published its own research on transport spending last week (“Smarter Cuts: Making the Right Cuts Not the Easy Cuts”). It found that blanket 25% cuts to transport budgets could lead to:

  • Bus services being decimated: cutting the Government’s Bus Service Operator Grant would result in 7% less services, 6.5% fares increases; and 94m miles less of supported services 
  • Train fare rises of 33% over the next five years
  • Train overcrowding, speed restrictions and withdrawal of many local train services outside London


See Campaign for Better Transport's "Smarter Cuts" report.