Criticism of road congestion plans

Road congestion plans have been labelled "short-term and inadequate" by the head of the RAC Foundation.

Although Professor Stephen Glaister, the foundation's director, said a new deal was urgently needed because only £9 billion of the £45 billion in taxes that motorists pay each year was being reinvested, he felt the Government's plans were not the answer.

He said that developing public transport would not solve congestion and emissions, and more importantly was not a way to reduce the need for road investment.

Transport secretary Geoff Hoon revealed congestion plans which included allowing cars to use motorway hard shoulders at busy times over the weekend.

Professor Glaister said: "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."

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