Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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‘Infrastructure revolution’ is road to nowhere

CPRE today strongly criticises the decision to go ahead with a significant £25 billion investment in new roads, which is incompatible with the government’s commitment to tackle the climate emergency. Ours and others’ research shows that building new and bigger roads actually drives more traffic, and consistently fails to show measurable benefits to local economies, while also leading to permanent and significant environmental damage. Climate change is the biggest threat facing the countryside and better public transport in rural areas is the best way to keep cars off the road and emissions out of the atmosphere.

The government should instead prioritise more funding for public transport, and CPRE welcomed the additional £220 million for buses as a good first step when it was first announced in the Spending Review. The Chancellor focused today on towns and cities, but buses are essential for connecting rural communities to the services and facilities everyone needs, especially for those people who cannot afford a car or are unable to drive. Yet, with only £220 million being invested in buses, less than 1% of the money being spent on roads, the government needs to be even more ambitious to get people out of cars, into buses, to reduce their carbon footprint.

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