If there have been two clear priorities for the coalition government during its tenure in office they have been, firstly, the reduction of the structural deficit in public finances and, secondly, sustained growth in the UK economy. Those two objectives don’t always sit well together, and in few areas of public policy is the tension more apparent than in transport. As a recent Department for Transport document stated: “Transport is an engine for growth and essential for everything we do… High-performing networks are essential for the UK to compete in the global race.” Yet over the course of the parliament that department, along with local government have faced sustained budgetary cuts.