Sustrans' response to government transport spending announcements

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Commenting on the British coalition government's announcements on June 10, 2010 surrounding transport spending, Jason Torrance, Policy Manager for sustainable transport charity Sustrans says: “As scrutiny on public spending is intensified we believe it is more important than ever that investment is focused on interventions that deliver high value for money, and benefits across Government.

"Large road schemes often have a return on investment of less than £2 for every £1 spent. But we believe there are better, smarter ways to spend money. The work of Sustrans consistently proves that helping people to use their cars less for short local journeys delivers multiple benefits: not least financially - using the government's own cost benefit system local walking and cycling schemes shows a return on investment of £15 to £33 for every pound spent."

Right now in the UK two out of five local journeys are made by foot, bike and public transport and it would be good to increase this to at least four out of five. It can be done.

Sustrans is the UK's leading sustainable transport charity, working on practical projects so people can choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment. The charity is behind the award winning National Cycle Network, Connect2, Safe Routes to Schools, Bike It, TravelSmart, Active Travel and Liveable Neighborhoods, all projects that are changing our world one mile at a time. To find out more visit

I have witnessed this madness of local trips by car more than once in our local area.

Mother's take their children to the local school, often less than 100 – 200 yards away from their front door, by SUV, double parking while they take their little darlings to the school yard. They then proceed to the village to get some groceries and take more than five minutes driving around looking for a parking space. Often none can be found near the stores so they have to use the pay-for car park several minutes walk away from the high street.

All in all such a trip, just to take the kids to the local elementary school and then to get a few things from the stores takes in the region, with walking to and fro the car, fifteen to twenty minutes while the entire walk, with dropping the kids off at the school, would have taken no more than that either and both children and parent would have gotten a little exercise.

We must be stupid the way we get into our cars for such short journeys wasting fuel and time even especially when one considers how long it often takes to get the kids into the car, get them buckled in, as it is legal requirement for even such short journeys, and rightly so, to wear seat belts.

I presume you all get my drift as to what I am saying...

© 2010