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12th December 2008

Transport planning needs to be accountable

Nick has slammed plans for a Regional Transport Board made up of unelected private sector appointees to plan future transport arrangements for the region.

A paper put forward by consultants paid by One North East, the Regional Development Agency, has proposed that public transport, road infrastructure and rail links should be overseen by regional "political heavyweights" as well as private sector, economic and social partners. This could put private sector transport companies in charge of decisions around bus routes, fares, road routes and congestion charges.

Nick said: "this proposal contains a fundamental democratic deficit. Transport infrastructure is heavily subsidised by the taxpayer, and it's vital that we have accountability for how this money is used. The Government's new Regional Committee of MPs should take an urgent look at this, as the last thing we need in the North East is another unaccountable quango."

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