Government transport policy attacked

* Academics launch new book * Government policy 'a big disappointment' * Ministers insist investment has worked...

Government transport policy attacked

The Government transport policy over the past 10 years has been dismissed as 'a big disappointment' by a team of academics.

The academics, from Glasgow and Plymouth Universities, told the BBC that the Government has failed to cut traffic congestion, ignored the need for railway investment, and neglected walking and cycling.

The new report outlines the areas in which they say the government has failed:

  • Traffic congestion is worse than a decade ago
  • Investment needs of the railways have been almost completely ignored
  • Bus services in most of the UK have remained poor
  • Tram schemes have been abandoned
  • Walking and cycling have been largely neglected
  • The Government is afraid to address the environmental impact of aviation
  • Transport-generated carbon emissions continue to rise

Dr Ian Docherty, from Glasgow University, said the Government has been timid in its policies and has 'got cold feet at the point when it could have done something.'

The research comes a decade after Labour outlined its new deal on transport in a White Paper. In 1998, the then Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, said he would regard himself as a failure if, in five years, traffic congestion had not fallen and public transport use increased.

The Government accepts there is now more traffic on the roads, but points out record numbers of people are using trains.

Ministers also say there has been significant investment in transport.