Combine cars on
one policy for
Give us a call
0844 543 4416
0844 848 4316
0800 600 870
Motoring news search
Search our archive of Motoring news.
Motoring news archive
Search our archive of Motoring
news by date.
You can subscribe to receive the latest motoring news from Admiral with RSS.
'Misleading' report sparks transport spending row
Taxpayer, motoring and environmental groups have traded blows over the way that public money is spent on transport.
The debate comes after the TaxPayers' Alliance and the Drivers' Alliance published joint research, in which they conclude that public funding of the rail system is 10 times as great as that of roads, when actual use is taken into account.
The groups say that during 2007-8, rail spending totalled £8.2 billion against road spending of £8.3 billion, but that in the same period 59 billion passenger-kilometres were travelled by rail, compared to 749 billion by road.
They calculate that the total rail spending per passenger-kilometre was more than 10 times the spend on the road network, and that rail freight received eight times more spending per tonne-kilometre.
Drivers' Alliance chief executive Peter Roberts said that there was a desperate need to prioritise roads before rail to tackle congestion, but a spokesperson for Network Rail called the alliances' figures "highly misleading".
"Motorists should welcome investment in Britain's railways as it is one of the best ways to reduce congestion on the roads," he told BBC News.
Campaign for Better Transport slammed the report, accusing it of ignoring historic underinvestment in the rail network that was now "slowly being put right", and omitting costs for casualties, pollution and policing.
"All the evidence is that road building projects are incredibly expensive and lead to more traffic," said chief executive Stephen Joseph. "This is a recipe for more congestion, casualties and pollution."
But the TaxPayers' Alliance has hit back at some of its critics, with research director Matthew Sinclair blogging: "Clearly the vested interests have lined up to attack our report, but they are a little short on evidence."