Can we build our way out of congestion?

This article reports a study from the RAC Foundation in the UK which claims that a major road building programme in the UK is needed to avoid severe congestion problems. A combination of road building and road pricing is recommended, while not increasing the actual cost to road users. A more efficient road network would produce sufficient economic return to justify the cost, and some revenue could be spent on through roads, public transport, and tax reductions for road users. Environmental groups have attacked the study, arguing that further road building will encourage car use and reduce investment in sustainable transport. The RAC report suggests that carbon dioxide emissions would be controlled by improved fuel and vehicle technology, while smoother traffic flow would increase fuel efficiency. It accepts that road building schemes must be planned more sensitively but argues that large areas of land would not be needed: extra capacity is seen as necessary on inter-urban routes and around major cities. The study promotes building of additional roads rather than widening existing ones. Major changes to government transport policy would be necessary, although road pricing should be controlled by an independent organisation.


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  • Accession Number: 01109428
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Aug 25 2008 8:20AM