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Cut road budget to boost rail MPs told

NEWS

MONEY FROM the roads budget should be reallocated to rail if the government is to keep its 10 year transport plan targets on track, its top transport adviser told MPs last week.

Many of the projects in the 10 year £180bn spending programme are expected to come from the government backed multi modal studies.

Commission for Integrated Transport chairman Professor David Begg told last week's transport subcommittee meeting that 'flexibility' was needed between the road and rail budget or 'there will not be money to fund the rail projects'.

He was backed by Transport 2000 director Stephen Joseph.

'We are very concerned that road schemes will happen and rail schemes and other public transport will go into the wild blue yonder.

'The Strategic Rail Authority has made it clear that rail projects outlined in the studies are not in its priority programme.

We need the roads budget to become the multi modal studies delivery budget.'

Joseph also doubted if councils could deliver the £60bn local transport targets in the plan.

He said councils were not getting enough funding to pay for staff to carry out the vastly enlarged capital programme.

'We would like to see five year revenue funding arrangements for local authorities to match the Local Transport Plan capital funding arrangement already in place, ' he said.

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