Campaign for Better Transport has accused the Treasury of seeming to override due processes for assessing transport projects in its Autumn Statement.
The National Infrastructure Plan, published by the Treasury as part of the Autumn Statement, says there will be extra funding to enable all local authority transport schemes currently being considered for funding in the Development Pool to proceed, subject to assurance.
The Government announced after the Spending Review that the money available to local authority transport schemes would be reduced and 45 schemes would enter a Development Pool to compete for £630m of Government funding. The Chancellor committed £386m to fund 20 of the 45 schemes in the pool in today’s statement, but if all of the schemes proceed the cost to the Government will be more than £1.2bn.
Sian Berry, Campaign for Better Transport’s Sustainable Transport Campaigner, said: "It would be travesty of proper policy making for the Treasury to circumvent Department for Transport processes in this way. After a year-long process of assessment, consultation and examination, in which local campaigners, transport experts, civil servants and the general public have participated, the Treasury should not simply seek to sweep this process away. As our analysis has shown, the quality of the proposals varies widely and not all of the Development Pool schemes are good value for money or useful or effective transport projects. There are some excellent public transport projects, but we have identified a number of bypass and ring road proposals that will do more harm than good."
Notes to Editors
1. The 45 schemes in the Development Pool include 20 new roads, 15 public transport projects, five maintenance projects and five mixed transport schemes http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/local-authority-major-schemes-development-pools. A full briefing on all the schemes is available at http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/system/files/Dev_Pool_Briefing_2011_FINAL.pdf
2. The National Infrastructure Plan is available from http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/national_infrastructure_plan2011.htm (page 134 for the reference to local authority schemes).
3. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).
Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a charity (1101929) and a company limited by guarantee (4943428)