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Transport Matters
A Unite Strategy for Transport

Transport is vital to our lives. It is a public service and an economic driver. It is essential to work, family life, personal independence and opportunity. It also helps communities to thrive - locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Transport also has a critical role to play in meeting the challenges of climate change and reducing pollution.

Transport policy is currently dominated by the impact of global economic pressure and public sector cuts. It is also subject to the legacy of privatisation and deregulation, and by a ‘race to the bottom’ in the use of contracting, sub-contracting and outsourcing, as well as agency working, zero hours contracts and bogus self-employment.

Transport workers are subject to profit-led cost cutting, undercutting and insecurity which are eroding safety, training and standards, and putting downward pressure on pay, pensions and decent working practices.

Transport users are experiencing overcrowding and reporting poor satisfaction levels. Business estimates that road congestion costs the UK economy up to £8 billion a year which could potentially rise to £22 billion by 2025.

Companies and organisations in the UK transport sector believe their work has been damaged by the lack of a clear government strategy and the LSE Growth Commission finds that “the UK lacks a long-term strategic vision based on coherent and transparent criteria.”

A transport policy based on market forces cannot meet the national interest.

What is needed is a clear, integrated and sustainable transport strategy that recognises the importance of transport to society, the economy and the environment, as well as the key role played by transport workers.

Unite is calling for a transport strategy that includes:

  • a commitment to investment;
  • accessible, affordable, integrated and accountable public transport;
  • a fundamental shift away from further privatisation and deregulation;
  • safe transport with decent employment standards, equality and protection for transport workers;
  • a sustainable transport system that is better for the environment.