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Funding Dilemma

New transport systems - the funding crisis


Irrespective of the Economy, traffic continues to grow in our towns and cities. Consequently, pressure on our existing public transport services is reaching breaking point as commuters and travellers switch from private to public transport and the need to move continues to increase.

In response, urban transport planners are addressing the problems of increasing congestion through a mix of parking, access and congestion charges and the provision of new public transport systems. Although an array of transport technologies (heavy rail, trams, busways, etc.) is available to meet the differing needs of communities, the common feature relevant to all is their high initial capital cost. Indeed, the most effective and efficient solutions frequently present the highest capital outlay for the transport planner. This raises the problem of sourcing the capital and this is where E-Rail can help.

Some of the other funding methods that may be available are as follows:

Each of these mechanisms has implications for a local authority or transport sponsor but all share two significant drawbacks.


In the UK central government has declared a preference to contribute to Local Authority initiatives for transport particularly if outside private sector financial support can be delivered.

E-Rail and its methodology is acknowledged by the UK Minister of Transport (2013) as one of the mechanisms that Local Authorities should explore if they are to be successful in their application for financial assistance.


‘E-Rail provides the solution in a form which can be readily adopted
by public authorities and other transport sponsors.’