Across the UK, roads are congested and trains are overcrowded. As the population has grown, demand for transport has increased. In order to keep up with demand and maintain the current quality of life, the government has continuously increased its spending on the sector. In spite of this, the situation has become worse.
In this briefing, Population Matters considers the impact of the increasing demand for transport on the UK’s population. It argues that the expansion of the existing transport system not only costs the Treasury more money, but also adversely impacts the well-being of passengers and residents and causes great environmental damage.
Increasing investments in transport facilities drive fares up, while travellers are less likely to travel comfortably. Noise and air pollution affect the health of residents and reduce the value of their properties. Moreover, nearby wildlife suffers greatly.
While technological progress offers hope that future transportation will be cleaner and more efficient, the problem of overcrowding can only be solved if population stabilisation policies are actively promoted. Hence, we argue that the government should include them in its transport improvement strategy.