25 November 2010
Transport spending will help rebalance the economy and support the regions, MPs heard at a debate on the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR). Speaking at the debate, Transport Minister Theresa Villiers, confirmed that to reduce overall spending by 15%, resource budgets would be cut by 21% and capital budgets by 11%. However, these savings are to be made with a view to rebalancing the North-South divide in terms of transport spending as well as rebalancing the economy, she explained. There will undoubtedly be a role for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to play in transport planning, but the CSR could not have waited until these structures had been established, she stressed.

The transport appraisal system (NATA ‘New Approach to Transport Appraisal’) will be reformed to reflect a more realistic price of carbon and to provide consistency in the additional fuel duty, the Minister continued. Further reforms will be introduced to ensure transport policy complied with the UK’s climate change goals, she added. The Highways Agency was also expected to introduce necessary efficiencies and reforms, she told the House.

Shadow Minister for Transport, Jim Fitzpatrick, stated that the Government’s decision not to increase capacity at Heathrow combined with the latest increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD) will deter people from visiting the UK and result in reduced investment in UK airports. He also highlighted further concerns from the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), London First and the UK Chambers of Commerce regarding the same issue. The Minister also feared that redundancies planned for TRANSEC (Transport Security and Civil Contingencies Directorate) would undermine aviation security.

Sourced from Dehavilland: www1.Dehavilland.co.uk