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Campaigners suggest ticket price freeze and extra network funding in ‘alternative budget’

The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) has included a ticket price freeze and increased network development funding in its ‘alternative transport budget.

The organisation has offered the government an altered plan for the investment of transport funding, which involves prioritising mass transport as a method for lowering emissions.

Proposals would see a continuation of the investment in the industry in order to modernise services and improve efficiency in the system.

In addition, the CBT has repeated its calls for a dedicated ‘Rail Development Fund’, which would focus on opening new lines and reopening existing out-of-use infrastructure – such as stations and even sections of track.

Finally, there are plans included which would freeze rising fares in 2018 and simplify ticket prices, with flexible costs for part-time workers.

“The Budget offers a chance to address the problems underlying the UK’s transport system: congestion, pollution and social exclusion from over-dependence on road and air transport,” explained Stephen Joseph, chief executive for CBT.

“We have set out here some proposals for taxation and spending which can take the country in the right direction.”

In July, the CBT’s freight on rail manager Philippa Edmunds told RMT that the UK should be looking to rail to decrease motorway congestion caused by heavy goods vehicles, an idea expanded on in the new report.

Top image: Alphotographic

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Jimbo   31/10/2017 at 23:06

Perhaps the Campaign for Better Transport should rename themselves as the Campaign against Roads as that is more accurate. If you read their proposals, they are all about increasing the amount of tax charged to road users (cars and lorries) and then to spend the extra money on the railways. This means everyone will pay more tax on their cars, and due to increased taxes on HGV's, everyone will pay more for goods as well. If you use the railways, you may see an improvement, but you will pay more elsewhere. If you don't use the railways, well that's okay, you should feel good about paying more on your car so other people can travel better. This is just a pressure group advocating charging the people they don't like more tax to pay for the things they do like. They don't care if they anger road users as they don't care about them. In the real world, things are not that simple and the government won't want to anger all those road users, which includes most railway passengers as well.

PP   01/11/2017 at 09:29

Jimbo, I don't think it works like that. At the end of the day, road transport is extremely environmentally damaging and the users of it don't contribute anywhere near enough to reducing that damage, or developing alternatives that road users might be willing to use. All the Campaign for Better Transport are doing is recognising that road users need to pay more to reflect the damage they inflict and to develop more sustainable alternatives. As both a driver and a public transport user, that's fine by me.

Jimbo   01/11/2017 at 10:35

@PP - Transport problems are very complex, but people want simple answers and the pro-road lobby will simplfy this one down to "charge roads users more for better railways" which road users will strongly resist, particularly when road users believe (rightly or wrongly) that existing road taxes are not spent on roads. What the CBT is proposing may be the right thing in theory, but it doesn't really offer anything new and if it won't work in the real world, then it is pointless and a waste of their political capital.

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