While the media focused on the Eddington Transport Study's support for road-user charging, it downplayed the bigger story: Eddington's radical proposal to re-prioritise Britain's £18bn annual transport budget around economic growth objectives.
This paper argues that Eddington's key recommendations - if implemented - would shift the balance of transport investment toward London, the Greater South East, and a few Northern city-regions. This shift, together with a long-term investment strategy and greater financial devolution, is critical to sustaining urban economic growth. Additionally, the paper challenges the Government to develop a transport policy that delivers Eddington's growth agenda without undermining long-standing social and environmental objectives.
But a number of big questions remain. Will the Lyons Inquiry allow cities to raise more revenue for transport investment? Will the Sub-National Review come up with the right governance arrangements? And will the Comprehensive Spending Review deliver the money needed to make Eddington's investment proposals work?
Centre for Cities has re-launched as an independent think tank. You can visit them online at http://www.centreforcities.org.
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