UK transport in crisis - think-tank

Transport in the UK is in crisis due to a series of "white elephant" projects and a lack of cash, an independent think-tank has said.

Despite investment in infrastructure being essential to future economic growth, public finance issues mean that spending on transport is being cut back, according to a report by Reform.

"As a capacity crisis approaches, policymakers need to focus on practical, value-for-money solutions, instead of big white elephant projects, to deliver improvements today," said the report, which also urged more private sector funding for transport schemes.

The report pointed out that drivers pay over £45 billion in motoring taxes, yet only a fifth is invested back on the road network. More focus needs to be on setting a framework for business and passengers to create infrastructure based around demand to avoid irrational investment decisions, said the report.

Deputy director of Reform, Elizabeth Truss, said: "Politicians have got their priorities topsy-turvy. Infrastructure spending generates long-term economic growth. Spending on health and benefits does not - but ministers prefer the easy target of transport."

Copyright © Press Association 2009