Abstracts: December 3rd, 2007

This report from the New Local Government Network think tank calls for the Government to step back from national road pricing approaches and instead allow local authorities greater power over local transport provision. The report argues that councils should lead approaches to reduce congestion and consider locality-based charging if merited by local circumstances.

The report argues that a series of radical measures are required to stop congestion on Britain’s roads rising by a predicted 30 per cent by 2025. The current 380 million pounds fuel subsidy the Government gives to bus operators should be scrapped and redirected to local authorities to incentivise improved local bus routing and timetabling. The local transport regulatory powers should be removed from England’s six unelected and appointed-for-life Traffic Commissioners and their powers devolved to elected local council leaders.

The report also calls for Council Leaders to be accountable to new Passenger Forums and given the power to influence local employer behaviour so that peak time congestion could be dramatically reduced.

The Politics of Traffic: a local route to reduced congestion is available from the New Local Government Network. http://www.nlgn.org.uk