In response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget announcement, Steve Brooks, Policy Director at Sustrans, the cycling and walking charity said:
“When it comes to spending on transport, prevention is always cheaper than the cure. But sadly this budget continues to lock Britain into a polluted, congested future which in the long-run will cost the country billions.
“With the Prime Minister’s earlier announcement of a continued freeze in fuel duty, coupled with today’s announcement of over £25bn for the next Road Investment Strategy, this budget will only lead to further congestion, air pollution and poor health.
“A road building programme to be funded by income from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is particularly alarming at a time when climate experts call for a drastic reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Chancellor has missed an opportunity to help towns and cities thrive and relieve some of long-term pressures on the NHS.
“An additional £680m for the Transforming Cities Fund is welcome but pales in comparison to investment in the road network.
“We urge the UK Government to rethink its approach to VED; ensure local authorities have appropriate funds to maintain existing roads for the safety of pedestrians and people who cycle; and start taking walking and cycling seriously by committing to 5% of the transport budget raising to 10% by 2025 being spent on active travel in the next Comprehensive Spending Review. This is the best way to ensure that people have the programs and infrastructure in place to be confident to get around by bike or by foot.”
For more information, images and interviews please contact:
Anna Galandzij, Senior Press Officer at Sustrans, [email protected], 07557 915648
Liv Denne, Press and Media Officer at Sustrans, [email protected], 07768 035318