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Government must prioritise rail over road, says Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have responded to news of a potentail £29bn budget shortfall in British transport projects by urging government to prioritise rail spending over roads.

Commenting on a leaked document which reveals a potential £29bn budget shortfall in British transport projects, Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary, Norman Baker said: “The Government needs to give assurances that there will be no rolling back on vital projects such as Crossrail, high speed rail or other improvements to the rail network.

“If there are cuts to be made they should be to motorway widening schemes.  It’s time to start spending in a smart way, prioritising environmentally friendly projects and not carbon emitting road schemes.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) is facing a £29bn spending gap, which could threaten major projects, according to a leaked memo seen by The Guardian newspaper.

The leaked industry memo seen by the Guardian warned of “looming spending cuts” on major transport projects as the DfT faces the consequences of restoring order to public finances, it said.

It went on to say that as a result Crossrail could be delayed, hard shoulder running could be cut and the north-south high-speed rail programme could be held back by a decade. Prime minister Gordon Brown had just this week announced his intention to publish a feasibility into the high-speed line in the coming year.

Readers' comments (1)

  • John Mather

    Mr Baker might be interested to see/read the RAC Foundation's Report on the Rates of Return on Public Spending on Transport. One would hope that our Government would want to get better/best value for the taxpayers it represents.

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