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Spending cuts threaten Committee on Climate Change transport plan

26 November 2009
A programme to cut carbon from urban transport, endorsed by the Committee on Climate Change, is under threat from Government spending cuts. As Transport and Treasury Ministers lock horns over the transport budget in the run-up to the pre-Budget Report, Campaign for Better Transport has learned that the Sustainable Travel Cities programme [1], which would fund urban transport programmes to give people alternatives to car travel, is under threat. The programme was endorsed in the Committee on Climate Change’s annual report last month with a recommendation that it be rolled out to all cities and towns over the next few years. Funding for upgrading local bus services - the Kickstart programme - is also under threat.

Stephen Joseph, the group's executive director, said:

“We’ve learnt  from a number of Government sources that the Treasury is haggling over these programmes. Yet these are precisely the kinds of programmes that shouldn’t be cut. The Sustainable Travel Cities programme w ould  show exactly how cities can help people  to cut their transport carbon emissions, and follows three successful sustainable travel town projects which have cut car use and increased cycling and bus use. The Kickstart programme would help improve bus services in many areas, giving people a real alternative to car trips.”

“The Treasury should instead be focusing on cutting money from road schemes where the evidence of poor forecasting and high costs continues to pile up. The funding for just one major scheme on the A14 could pay for the full roll-out of sustainable travel towns and cities recommended by the CCC, and for investment in bus services too.” [2]

Notes to editors
[1] Sustainable Travel City Demonstration Project

[2] The A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton is currently estimated to cost between £865 million and £1.3 billion