The Campaign for Better Transport has published an Alternative Transport Budget, a set of alternative proposals for transport taxation and spending policy to promote sustainable transport, improve air quality, and reduce emissions.
The budget has been released ahead of the autumn budget, which the Chancellor will deliver on November 22.
Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport, said: “The Budget offers a chance to address the problems underlying the UK’s transport system: congestion, pollution and social exclusion from over-dependence on road and air transport.
“We’ve set out here some proposals for taxation and spending which can take the country in the right direction.”
The report’s recommendations include:
- Establish a Network Development Fund to develop and implement proposals for new and reopened lines and stations;
- Improved funding for bus services including a connectivity fund to support socially necessary services and a bus bonus scheme for commuters;
- Tackle complex and ever-increasing rail fares with a freeze in 2018 and simpler fares with flexible tickets for part-time workers;
- Expand the scope of the Office of Low Emission Vehicles grants to include e-bikes and e-cargo bikes;
- Give priority to investing in management and maintenance of existing roads and to improving local transport;
- Establish a Clean Air Fund with significant resources to pay for the measures needed to cut air pollution to levels that don’t harm human health;
- Use the National Road Fund to fix the backlog of road repairs that are needed, especially on local roads;
- Introduce a surcharge for diesel vehicles in the short-term to discourage the purchase of diesel cars and to contribute to the promised Clean Air Fund;
- Change the current time-based Road User Levy on heavy goods vehicles with a distance-based charge; and
- Look at replacing Air Passenger Duty with a Frequent Flyer Levy.