New deal for road users21 Jan 2009

Increasing unreliability causes particular dissatisfaction to the public.

Professor Glaister will hail the £6bn investment in road capacity as a step in the right direction, but will voice concern about the wholesale development of hard-shoulder running, as a short-sighted substitute for widening or new route developments.

Professor Glaister, Director of the Royal Automobile Club Foundation says,

‘The Government’s most recent announcement on roads is a step in the right direction, but it is inadequate in dealing with the overall roads problem. The plans focus exclusively on the UK’s motorway system, which ignores the severe problems faced by the nation’s suburbs.’

‘Hard shoulder running is a short-term measure rather than a proper alternative to widening or developing new routes to suit growing needs. Active traffic management has to be done diligently to meet safety requirements, which has significant cost implications. When this is taken into account, hard shoulder running has little advantage over road widening, particularly where improvements to junction capacity are concerned’.

‘A new deal for road users is required. Motoring taxation should be transparent and fair and road development should be based on a proper, long-term strategy.’

* The conference ‘Driving Forward Our National Network: Tackling congestion and improving the UK’s trunk road and motorway network: What are the policy tools needed to achieve this?’ is taking place on Wednesday 21st January 2009 at Bircham Dyson Bell, 50 Broadway, London. For further information see:

** DfT forecasts

*** DfT (2008) Public attitudes to congestion and road pricing

**** DfT (2008) Roads – Delivering choice and reliability.

***** RAC Foundation (2008) Public Transport Effects on Road Traffic: Potential and Limitations

****** DfT (2008) Roads – Delivering choice and reliability and DfT (2009) Britain’s Transport Infrastructure Motorways and Major Trunk Roads.