RELEASE OF the Government's Transport White Paper was promptly welcomed as a breakthrough at Great George Street.
Transport Board Chairman David Bayliss said: 'The White Paper marks the start of the process to develop a modern, efficient and sustainable transport system. The main building blocks are now in place and need to be developed and safeguarded.'
The Government's acceptance of ring-fenced investment for transport has delighted the ICE.
'Adequate funding is a vital element to achieve integrated transport, and a step change increase of at least 50% in investment in transport infrastructure is needed. We are delighted at long last that the government has accepted the principle of hypothecation of revenues from road user charges back into transport. However, the Treasury must not cut its own spending on transport, or else we will be back where we started.
'The vital principle of road use charging must be developed by partnerships between local and central government to carry through what is a high risk, high return policy.
'In addition, the announcement that a permanent independent commission on integrated transport is to be set up is welcome. This must be adequately resourced.
'All in all, after years of debate about transport, it is immensely satisfying to see a manifesto of action, and we look forward to helping with its implementation. Tackling the funding issue is crucial. We cannot have integrated transport on the cheap.'
A team at Great George Street led by the AME director Robert Huxford has produced a resum of the White Paper for ICE Members who do not have the time to go through the 150-page document.