UK campaign groups have criticised the government for investing ten times more funds in rail transport than in roads.

According to research by the Drivers’ Alliance and the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the government has spent £8.2bn on rail transport and £8.3bn on road transport, even though only 59 billion passenger kilometres travelled by rail, compared with 749 billion by road.

Freight transport, too, was found to have received eight times more investment in rail than road when measured per ton kilometre.

This, despite the fact that motorists pay taxes totalling £30.3bn, the groups said.

The groups have now called on the government to prioritise roads over rail to reduce congestion. They also said that increasing road capacity is cost effective and provides genuine savings in journey times for most individuals, goods and services.

The study has been conducted by the Drivers’ Alliance and the TaxPayers’ Alliance using the Department of Transport 2007-08 reports and HM Treasury reports.