RAC Foundation predicts ‘awful conditions’ for motorists

11.05 | 21 November 2011 | | 1 comment

Motorists face longer delays on Britain’s roads because of an increase in traffic and less transport infrastructure spending, says the RAC Foundation (BBC News).

In a new report, ‘Keeping the Nation Moving’, the RAC Foundation forecasts a 43% rise in traffic volume by 2035 resulting in four million more cars on the roads.

The report says that “ministers have not explained what plans they have to cope with the bleak picture painted by their own numbers”.

The RAC Foundation, working with consultancy group Arup, identified 96 road schemes "currently sitting on the Department for Transport’s shelves". The Foundation claims that the top 10 projects would offer significant returns of more than £6 for every £1 invested.

Professor Stephan Glaister, RAC Foundation director, said: "Forget about Plan B, ministers do not even have a Plan A for dealing with the awful conditions forecast for the roads in the years ahead. It is a case of jams today, and even more jams tomorrow.

"The DfT’s own figures show that by 2035 traffic is set to rise by almost 50% and delays by more than 50%. And these are only average figures."

In response, Mike Penning road safety minister, said: "Transport investment was treated as a priority for Government in the spending review and we have committed £4 billion on Highways Agency major projects, capital maintenance and enhancements. This substantial investment, alongside funding for the local road network, will drive economic growth and boost the UK economy.

“An independent review of the Highways Agency is also underway to examine options for improving the efficiency, effectiveness and performance of our strategic road network.”

Click here to read the BBC News report, or click here to download the RAC Foundation report.


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    What is even more alarming is what is not written. There are hundreds more smaller schemes that offer amazingly high BCRs, yet the silos of HA budgets do not marry the two together. If we are spending £4bn then we should start with the concept of delivering 1000 schemes of low cost not 10 schemes of high cost, if the lower cost schemes deliver more bang for the buck. Old fashioned common sense even in times of “plenty” let alone now.

    Then there is the roads versus rail debate. How come HS2 with a BCR of 1.5 is higher up the pecking order than roads schemes with BCR of 6-8? Economic madness.

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