David Bayliss, Stephen Glaister and Tony Travers address the problems of funding local transport infrastructure and transport services without making additional financial demands on central or local government. They propose the creation of regional, public interest transport funding bodies. Their income would be an allocation of the extra revenue from increasing the rate of road fuel duty to recover some of the one third fall in the rate since the start of the century. The constitution of these public interest bodies, defined in existing law, would ensure all their income and any borrowing is ring-fenced for spending on transport purposes determined by the existing, elected authorities. It would make increases in road taxation more palatable because the revenues would be transparently dedicated to improving local roads and other transport. Duty on fossil fuels will have to be replaced sooner or later and this proposal would accommodate a transition to road user charging.
David Bayliss is an independent consultant; Stephen Glaister is Emeritus Professor of Transport and Infrastructure at Imperial College London and Associate, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); and Tony Travers is a Visiting Professor in LSE Department of Government and Director of LSE London.