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PBR: aviation taxes welcome but wise investment needed

9 October 2007
The Campaign for Better Transport [1] welcomed the new aviation taxes announced in the pre-Budget report today but wants to see real investment in transport as well as environmental improvements. Executive Director Stephen Joseph said: "The aviation industry pays no fuel tax or VAT so it is right they contribute something to the economy, and we have argued that taxing flights rather than passengers is a better way of doing this. But we need to see investment in transport improvements, including rail upgrades as an alternative to short-distance air travel."

He added "The UK is the second most car dependent country in Europe [2] – we need to deal with this through giving people real travel choices. So we welcome increased spending on local transport and rail – but are concerned at the planned widening of the M1 and M25 [3]. These are very expensive – £1,000 an inch at the last count – and will simply move the congestion around while adding to traffic, car-based development and carbon emissions".

 

Notes

[1] Campaign for Better Transport is the new name of Transport 2000, which has been securing better transport policy and programmes since 1973.

[2] Source: Commission for Integrated Transport: Are we there yet? A comparison of transport in Europe, 2007: http://www.cfit.gov.uk/docs/2007/ebp/index.htm#02

[3] Source: Statement to the House of Commons today (9 October 2007), delivered by the Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/pbr_csr/pbr_csr07_speech.cfm