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House of Commons considers the estimated spending of the Department for Transport - REPORT FROM ALAN CAMPBELL MP

By Kevin Alderson, Mar 9 2018 05:02PM

On Tuesday, the House of Commons considered the estimated spending of the Department for Transport.

I am concerned that poor planning is systemic in the allocation of transport funds, as the Government

has made a mockery of financial planning periods for the railways and road investment strategies. Processes that were designed to provide certainty have instead turned into chaos. It is concerning that passenger rail income for this year is £248.6 million less than expected due to a decline in revenues from a number of train franchises, including Thameslink, Southern and Greater Anglia, and the Treasury is expected to pay an additional £60 million to cover this shortfall. This fall in revenue also follows the Government’s multibillion pound bailout of Virgin Stagecoach on the East Coast franchise. I believe the Government must come clean as to how much this will cost. It is unacceptable that the public continues to have to bail out a broken franchise system.

On the roads network, the new road vehicle tax system is losing £107 million per year, rather than

bringing in the £10 million it promised. In addition, we have seen road investment projects cancelled,

22 projects delayed and 19 enhancements pushed back into the next control period. I am concerned that this is all evidence of the Government’s poor stewardship of public money. I believe we must have a publicly owned railway, buses under council control and a proper plan to serve our communities.

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