The Budget confirmed that with the ring fencing of Vehicle Excise Duty in a new National Roads Fund, the £15 billion for RIS1 will rise to £25.3 billion for RIS2. It remains to be seen whether the end of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes for road building, and the need for Highways England to make savings within RIS1, will curtail the most damaging and costly schemes already underway.
It is very disappointing that the Government has delayed publication of its long-awaited draft Air Quality Plan to tackle pollution in the UK. [Note: the Air Quality Plan has since been published; find out more - ed]
This was a real opportunity for the Government to address what has become a public health emergency, causing 44,000 early deaths a year and driving up incidences of cancer, asthma, stroke, heart disease, obesity and dementia.
There has not been drift and indecision on airport expansion for decades. Instead, what has happened is that the aviation industry has, sooner or later, got its way. The extensive debate on a third London airport in the 1970s led to the development of Stansted. Heathrow got its fifth terminal. Manchester got its second runway. Birmingham has got its runway extension. Recently, London City Airport got its expansion plan approved by the London Mayor.
So far I’ve helped around one hundred people save and improve their valued local bus services. The campaign has taken me to Somerset, Bedfordshire, Hampshire and Lincolnshire.
Who has been getting in touch in the last six months?
Last September we raised the alarm about Local Transport Bodies (LTBs) and their plans for spending £910 million in devolved funding from the Department for Transport (DfT). Run jointly by local councils and business-led Local Enterprise Partnerships, the LTBs had been rushed into making their plans over just a few months and this was evident in the results of our analysis.