Fleet News

Public transport 'unreliable, unsafe and inconvenient'

A DAMNING report which shows the public views public transport as 'unreliable, unsafe, inconvenient and offering an unattractive alternative to the car' has severely dented the Government's integrated transport hopes. The cornerstone of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's green transport plans, set out in last year's white paper on integrated transport, involves persuading non-essential car drivers on to buses and trains.

Following a Government Transport Delivery Day this month, Prescott said: 'Transport is at the heart of Government thinking and a key element in creating a more inclusive society.' But an Audit Commission report, 'All Aboard: A Review of Local Authority Transport and Travel in Urban Areas Outside London', has revealed that despite investment of £3 billion a year in public transport by Government and local authorities, it cannot match the car.

The report said that people would be prepared to cough up £10 a day in road user charges to keep their car. The report found that there was a chronic lack of confidence in public transport and that those who used it found it unsafe and inconvenient. Andrew Foster, Controller of the Audit Commission, said: 'This report shows how far local authorities need to go if they are to meet the aspirations of the recent White Paper.

'Many people depend on local buses or trains as their only means of transport and it is vital that they receive a good service. At the same time, if drivers are to be persuaded to leave their cars at home then public transport must provide an attractive and efficient alternative.'

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