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Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 05:16 GMT 06:16 UK
Cash boost for road and rail
Waterloo Station
Ministers say the extra cash will deliver improvements
Ministers are to receive a 12% increase in funding to boost efforts to revive the UK's crumbling roads and railways.

Alistair Darling
Darling: Now we must deliver reforms
Chancellor Gordon Brown announced the increase for the transport department in his House of Commons statement on the government's spending review for the next three years.

He said expenditure would rise from 7.7bn this year to 11.6bn by 2005-6.

It includes around 1bn each year to fund the first three years of the public-private partnership plan for the London Underground.

'Safe and efficient'

Most of the extra cash will go on the railways, with the Treasury saying that Railtrack's successor - Network Rail - will be able to "finance a significant increase in maintenance and renewals compared with what was assumed in the (transport) 10-year plan".

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling said: "This settlement will allow us to take forward the delivery of the government's Ten Year Plan for Transport and the safe, efficient and reliable transport system the public demands.

"The Ten Year Plan represents our key reform in the delivery of the government's transport objectives, and came into effect just over a year ago in April 2001.

"By providing an unprecedented commitment to sustained levels of new investment over a decade, it provides the stable long-term framework needed to bring about real improvements to our transport system.

Praise

"Delivering the plan is now the main task."

The investment comes alongside measures aimed at improving performance.

CBI director general Digby Jones said: "The government deserves praise for listening to business concerns about the dire need for rail investment and for honouring medium-term investment promises of two years ago.

"It is not clear how much new money will emerge from today's speech. But it has to get the money spent quickly and that will mean taking tough decisions.

"This must not be at the expense of other parts of the transport system, which have experienced cost rises."

'Unspectacular'

But Friends of the Earth said the spending review would "do nothing to tackle Britain's transport crisis".

The group added that Mr Brown had not made any substantial increase in transport investment and that all the extra money had been announced before.

The AA described the transport spending plans as "solid but unspectacular".

Environmental group Transport 2000 welcomed the extra funding, but said it did not want the money to go on roadbuilding.

The Freight Transport Association said spending on key motorway improvements should now be brought forward.

The government's plans for future spending are published on 15 July

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See also:

10 Jul 02 | England
21 Jun 02 | England
27 Jun 02 | Business
30 May 02 | UK Politics
29 May 02 | UK Politics
05 Feb 02 | UK Politics
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