Fleet News

Damning report into UK road and rail transport

PUBLIC transport can cost more than twice as much as funding an average fleet car, a damning report into Britain's transport system has revealed.

The report, ordered by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott when Labour first took power, creates a chaotic picture of a transport network crippled by underfunding and a lack of clear direction.

Figures from the new report, called European Best Practice in Delivering Integrated Transport, show that public transport can cost up to 62 pence a mile. By comparison, Fleet News running costs for an average upper-medium petrol hatchback with a 1.8-litre engine are about 30 pence per mile.

Professor David Begg, chairman of the Commission for Integrated Transport, which published the report, said the survey showed clearly that the transport network needed a major overhaul.

He said: 'The evidence is a clear but stark demonstration of two generations of neglect, of a transport network starved of investment for half a century - a situation that forced people into cars, whether they wanted to or not. Here in the UK, we have fallen a generation behind the rest of Europe in planning transport a holistic way.'

The report reveals Britain has the worst jams in Europe and that daily commuting times are also the highest. Even taking into account the Government's plan to invest £180 billion in the transport network a huge amount of work would be needed to catch up the rest of Europe.

However, road safety is one area where the UK is nearly the best in Europe, with road deaths per billion vehicle kilometres the lowest of all countries apart from Sweden. And although pedestrians and cyclists are more than twice as likely to be killed on UK roads than Sweden or the Netherlands, the risk is a fraction of many other countries, particularly Portugal.

  • For a copy of the report, visit the Commission for Integrated Transport website - www.cfit.gov.uk and look under research reports.

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