Help needed for Kent roads crisis
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• Kent County Council has asked the Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association to help it fight traffic congestion into the 21st century.
The council, which is responsible for some of the busiest roads in Britain, calls its campaign the Kent Action Forum. It gets underway in January with a conference to which other interested bodies will be invited, including the Confederation of British Industry and the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England.
Among the problems Kent foresees is a 50% increase in lorry traffic by early next century; HGV flows on Kent's motorways are already 12% greater than the national average.
The council is also concerned that the opening of the Channel Tunnel will increase road traffic. "The average traffic on Kent's main roads is double the national average," says council leader Tony Hart.
Kent Action Forum hopes to raise money for road building projects from local developers, from whom the council says it has raised "tens of millions" in the past.
The agenda at the January conference will include road pricing; moving freight from the roads to the railway; and keeping trucks off country roads unless they are delivering to farms.