Thursday 15 Nov 2007
Motorways in the UK are the most congested amongst the European Union's 25 nations, according to the latest figures in Road File 2007/08, revealed by the RAC Foundation's director, Edmund King, in a presentation at The Transport Times conference in London today (15).
The new report from the Road Users' Alliance reveals that Britain has more cars per motorway mile than any EU-25 nation. Rather than the UK network competing in the Champions League with France or Germany, it is in the lower divisions with Lithuania, Slovakia and Hungary. Congestion and unreliable travel times affect the UK's economic competitiveness and quality of life.
In his presentation, King will also highlight the fact that the UK has lower car ownership rates than many European nations but worse congestion. He will make the case for urgent road improvements, coupled with the introduction of a voluntary road pricing system based on a pilot in Oregon,USA.
Commenting, Edmund King, executive director, RAC Foundation said: "Roads in the UK are essential for 92% of passenger traffic and 88% of our freight. This reliance on the road network will continue even if public transport is radically improved. We need road improvements but we also need to question when and where we travel.
"Research findings from a pilot in Oregon show that even a voluntary system of road pricing where drivers pay per mile but receive a discount on the cost of fuel has lead to a reduction in peak period traffic of 20%. Even if only ten per cent of drivers opted to pay for their motoring in this way it could have a significant effect in reducing traffic congestion."
Notes to editors:
Copies of Road File 2007/08 are available from the Road Users' Alliance on 020 7730 2212 or can be downloadedat www.rua.org.uk
More information about voluntary road pricing or UK Drivetime can be found at www.ukdrivetime.org