Latest Public Sector News

22.04.16

Campaigners criticise lack of LEP investment in sustainable transport

Less than half of Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) transport investment in the past year was in sustainable transport, Campaign for Better Transport has warned.

FoI requests submitted by the campaign to 36 LEPs found that they spent £3.4bn on transport in the past year, of which £1.9bn (approximately 54%) was spent on new roads.

Other expenditure included £359m (11%) on rail, £253m (7%) on light rail, and just £229m (7%) on mixed sustainable transport, £186m (5%) on buses, £60m (2%) on walking and £36m (1%) on cycling.

Bridget Fox, sustainable transport campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, said: “What we need to see is a much more joined-up approach to transport planning, with a modern public transport system connecting people’s homes with their place of work.

"Many new road schemes are at best unnecessary and at worst are damaging in environmental and social terms: LEPs would serve the local economy better with more investment in alternative sustainable transport options."

Fox also called for an end to the lack of transparency around LEP spending recently criticised by the National Audit Office.

Campaign for Better Transport has also warned that local authority funding to supported bus services will be cut by £27m in the next two years.

The report also showed that just £73m (2%) was spent on road maintenance, despite council warnings of a £12bn road repair backlog.

Investment priorities varied significantly by region. Cornwall, Greater Birmingham and West Yorkshire spent the most on railways, whereas Dorset and Northamptonshire spent all their money on roads.

North Yorkshire spent the most on road maintenance, and light rail investment was mainly in the West Midlands.

Birmingham, Humberside and Peterborough were the biggest spenders on walking & public realm schemes.

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