Transport Planning Society calls on UK government to reform transport funding ahead of autumn budget
The Transport Planning Society’s new report urges the UK government to simplify public transport funding to make it easier for decision makers to deliver services that best serve their communities.
In a new report, Transport Planning for a Sustainable Future, The Transport Planning Society (TPS) has urged the UK government to streamline and simplify transport funding and taxation.
The report, published on 14 November 2022, encourages the government to explore additional powers for local and devolved authorities to raise money for public transportation. The research expands on the society’s 2020 State of the Nation report, which made key recommendations for achieving a low carbon transport system and highlighted the challenges the pandemic had posed for the transport planning profession.
Report author, Professor Stephen Joseph from the University of Hertfordshire, said: “The update highlights the twin challenges of decarbonising transport and tackling the cost-of-living crisis, and the different ways the four UK nations are addressing these challenges. For example, Wales is reviewing its road building programme, Scotland has a target for cutting car mileage by 20 per cent to meet its climate change strategy and Northern Ireland has frozen public transport fares, while the UK government has set up Active Travel England and is piloting fares cuts in Cornwall. The UK government needs to streamline transport funding and also look at reforming vehicle taxation, potentially abolishing fuel duty and replacing it with a road user mileage charge.”
Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive of Transport for the North, said: “We need to invest in people so we have the skills necessary, we need to simplify funding streams to make it easier to deliver, and we need to greater devolution so as to empower decision makers in their communities to deliver.”
Rhiannon Hardiman, Change Maker at the Future Generations Office for Wales, said: “A future-proofed transport system supports all four dimensions of wellbeing – economic, environmental, social and cultural. It is for today’s planners and decision makers to shape the future that we want, not one based on old solutions that are no longer fit for purpose.”
“If we are to successfully develop our transport assets to meet the needs of tomorrow it’s essential we get diverse perspectives into our decision-making processes,” said Mark Frost, Chair of The Transport Planning Society. “It’s clear we need to increase the breadth of those working in the sector, but it’s also vital for all transport planners to practice good ally ship for those voices that aren’t in the room.”
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