CILT poll backs spending to support economic growth

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Some 75 per cent of CILT members believe that the government should aim to protect spending that supports economic growth in its comprehensive spending review.

A survey of institute members found that rail capacity (33 per cent), road maintenance (31 per cent), and “smarter choices” were the top priorities for future investment.

However, 54 per cent thought that the most apt area for spending cuts would be socially inclusive services.  Other areas chosen for cuts were rural accessibility and health and safety.

Most members chose congestion charging as the preferable means to raise revenue, along with road charges in urban areas and a per plane tax.

In its analysis of these findings, the CILT found a theme to maintain current infrastructure rather than focussing on new build projects. 

Steve Agg  chief executive of the CILT, said that support for spending on road maintenance and expanding capacity on existing rail infrastructure, together with calls to “sweat assets” and put larger investments on hold, reflect an endorsement for targeted spend to bring the best value.

“By making better use of what we have, using technology to help operators and users make smarter choices about how and when to travel, and the routes to take, our members believe that we can get the best value for the money which is available to the department of transport, local authorities and the devolved governments.” he said.

The CILT said that the focus for cuts on softer issues could represent a call for a more rigorous examination of what services are best served by subsidies, and which could be better served by alternatives.

1,244 members took part in a survey. The results will be communicated to the department for transport in order to voice the membership’s views for the department’s internal spending review.

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