Passengers and the Spending Review
01 July 2013
Now the dust has settled on last week’s announcements on the Spending Review and infrastructure spend, what does it all mean for passengers?
Passengers won’t notice change tomorrow but the fact that we are still talking about growth and investment in the current economic climate is itself an achievement.
Passengers will probably welcome the fact that rail spend, albeit still built on above-inflation regulated fare rises, continues– lots of welcome investment in new lines such as Crossrail, new trains, track, electrification and rebuilt stations. All of this will hopefully make rail and the Underground a good choice for more passengers.
While rail took most of the headlines the review also affected bus passengers. The preservation (and on-going ring-fencing) of the Bus Services Operators Grant means the pressure on fares and service levels is kept off to a degree. However, local authorities are still facing some pretty tough choices that might bite on support to bus services. Also, the increase in road maintenance funds will help make bus journeys more reliable and comfortable.
We have pulled together a short note on all this: http://www.passengerfocus.org.uk/research/publications/briefing-spending-review-2013