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Transport spending

The question

The English regions are to get a greater say in prioritising transport spending through new Regional Transport Boards. What would be your priority?

Some general maintenance would be a good start. The industry is so absorbed in the transport policy debate that we are neglecting and overlooking existing assets. Look around and you will see road gullies blocked with leaves and silt, road surfaces pitted and potholed with substandard skid resistance and road markings eroded beyond recognition. While allocating funds to public transport is a necessary alternative, car ownership is forecast to increase. So, therefore, should our efforts to maintain a safe and sound highway network. Have we not had to learn this lesson with our railways?

Nick Jones, 33, construction design manager, Hampshire The priority should be to reduce congestion and to support social inclusion. In Cornwall these would be achieved by completing the long-awaited dualling of the A30 around Goss Moor and by providing support for the lifeline sea link to the Isles of Scilly.

Nigel Horwell, 43, regeneration manager, Cornwall Living in Norwich, we seem to be at least two hours away from anywhere else in the country. Road links to London received a boost recently with the dualling of a stretch of the A11, but there are still two single carriageway sections that ought to be dualled as a priority. This would at least provide reasonable connections to the south and Midlands via the A14.

Neil Harrison, 29, senior design engineer, Norwich The RTBs know very well what the priorities in their regions are, after successions of studies and reports into previous studies and reports.

However, I am saddened to remark that 25 years of consulting with 'Sir Humphreys' has taught me that whatever departmental names they carry, the government has never wanted to get to grips with any prioritised list, however cogently argued, in case they had to quickly find the funds.

DD Turner, 65, retired, West Midlands Extensions to Manchester's already successful tram system are essential to the area. They will help slow down the increase in car usage, regenerate existing railway lines and boost the economy in the areas that will be served.

Mike Battman, 49, senior manager, Altringham The Welsh Assembly already has considerable autonomy in the allocation of transport budgets and there is evidence it is beginning to use its powers more effectively.

Priorities in South Wales include rail network improvements around the major population centres for commuter travel, a dedicated airport link road for the increasing number of air travellers and a robust east-west highway to the Fishguard ferry.

Simon Lawrence, 31, senior engineer, Cardiff Three things should be done as priorities. First, the two single track sections of the Cotswold rail line from Oxford to Worcester must be redoubled without any further delay. Second, more investment is needed in rural bus services.

Finally we need some properly thought-out cycle paths.

Chris Johnson, 50, project engineering manager, Gloucester Without doubt the need in Devon, especially now we have lost the A303 dualling, is the Kingskerswell bypass. It has been constantly redesigned for the last 40 years. Both tourism and industry in Torquay will be lost if it does not go through this time (planning permission is being decided now).

Peter Hookham, 44, traffic engineer, Devon

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