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Roads to Nowhere

Reaction to today’s £1bn transport announcement

25 November 2008
Campaign for Better Transport describes today’s Government announcement of £1billion for  transport schemes [1] as a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly and calls on the Government to rethink its plans of building extra road capacity.

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

“This is a ragbag list of schemes rather than a considered package that is needed to take us towards 2014. While the rail upgrades are encouraging, some of the road schemes will worsen rather than solve local traffic problems and are not in fact the region’s priority. For example, £500m to be spent on the A46 Nottinghamshire upgrade could pay for upgrades of parallel rail lines and safe routes to school for much of the region. By avoiding putting any money into local transport, the Government is avoiding tackling where most of the problems – and the opportunities for solving them - really are.”

He concluded: “The accompanying transport policy consultation makes all the right noises about integration of different modes, linking housing and transport planning and modal shift from cars to public transport, cycling and walking. But strategies and consultations will mean nothing if in practice the Government keeps funding big road schemes rather than giving people real low-carbon transport choices” 

Notes to editors

[1] See Department for Transport press notice, “£1bn to accelerate key transport projects,” 25 November 2008, and Delivering a Sustainable Transport System – Consultation on planning for 2014 and beyond: http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/planning/dastsconsultation.pdf