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Congestion crisis

17th April 1997, Page 25
17th April 1997
Page 25
Page 25, 17th April 1997 — Congestion crisis
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

In times of crisis or nationel emergency, disparate and warring groups come together in the common good, so perhaps road congestion is such a crisis Mr Norris is now agreeing (in part) with Swampy

There is a measure of agreement between ecologists, environmentalists, ramblers and road haulage interests that road building is not the answer.

Mr Hookham (Sound Off, CM 3-9 April) echoes my sentiments, expressed in the same column some six months ago. We have all taken a long time to get here. An article on London traffic in The Autocar of 19 November 1954 was headed "Public opinion being sounded regarding the ban of cars from central areas".

In the 1960s a London orbital road was predicted to solve the capital's traffic problems, but look at the M25 today and the effects of the City's lorry ban.

A Picture Post magazine article on 30 July 1955 discussed the merits of building 340—yes, just 340— miles of motorvvray, covering the entire UK.

The M4 and M5 were in that plan but look at the congestion around their junction near Birmingham today. Mr Hookham understandably wants a better deal for road haulage, yet the Government actually encourages wasteful extra car mileage.

Two examples are an overgenerous company car taxation regime, which is mileage dependent; and the aim of getting mothers into work, which often needs a second car and the inevitable added congestion caused by using it for the school run.

If financial incentives were directed to home-working instead our trunk roads could be used for their original purpose—moving freight. Anthony G Phillips, Salisbury, Wilts.


Locations: Birmingham, London

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