The importance of efficient spending

The government has just announced £6.2 billion of savings to try and get a handle on the deficit. And, as predicted, the transport budget will take a substantial cut of £683 million. This makes the Department for Transport (DfT) third in highest cuts behind Department for Communities and Local Government and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

However it is not clear as to how these savings will be achieved within the DfT and how spending will be prioritised.  Expensive rail projects like Crossrail and the infrastructure for the Olympics are already ongoing. And this coalition government has committed itself to a hugely expensive high speed rail project. As Matthew Sinclair pointed out this type of budget prioritising will put huge pressure on the roads and commuter railways that are most overcrowded and perform the vital task of getting people into work in the morning. 

Our research shows that roads can carry more passengers per pound spent and can therefore deal with the problem of congestion, which imposes huge social and economic costs most efficiently. This kind of efficient spending – in all government department’s budgets, not just transport – is always crucial but it’s particularly important now that necessary spending cuts are being made.

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