Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Saturday, July 25, 1998 Published at 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK


UK

Roads expert warns of motorway jams

Prof. Mackey says this could be the scene in the future

The government has defended its traffic plans after a top transport adviser warned that the proposals will not be strong enough to avoid major jams in 10 years.

Professor Peter Mackey, of Leeds University, fears that under the plans unveiled last week in the Transport White Paper, motorways and trunk roads, and the roads that feed them, will be blocked within 10 to 15 years.


[ image:  ]
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme he said the government plans had not done enough to reduce the use of cars. He said the rate of traffic growth on motorways had been higher than that of all traffic.

"The prospects for traffic growth on the motorway network, for enhanced congestion and for really serious problems in 10 to 15 years, previewed by the government's own national road traffic forecast, remain in my view."

He said freight deliveries and business traffic, the "life blood" of the economy, would be damaged if car use went unchecked.

Discouraging car use

Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Secretary John Prescott published plans on Monday that included proposals to tax work-place parking and introduce charges on using city roads.

The prime minister vetoed attacks on out of town supermarket parking and discouraged his ministers from looking at national road pricing schemes.

Transport Minister Gavin Strang said the government's emphasis was on improving public transport but admitted people could not be forced to leave their cars at home.


[ image: Roads feeding motorways could be blocked]
Roads feeding motorways could be blocked
"We want people to choose public transport. But it will always be a question of choice."

Professor Mackey said the proposals might help slow an increase in families buying second cars but he was sceptical about the long-term effect of the plans.

Despite petrol rises of 6% a year and possible motorway tolls, he said the document did not contain many measures to moderate the historic growth in urban traffic.

In this scenario the government would then be forced into more radical measures to cut car use or choose another costly and controversial road building programme.

Strang defends plans

Mr Strang said the government was seeking to get more freight moved by rail and had more than doubled the grant for this.

But he conceded that if transport policies were left unchanged, traffic was forecast to grow by more than one-third over the next 20 years, with motorway traffic increasing faster.

He stressed the government was doubling the money being made available for rural bus services, with an extra £150m.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England
Relevant Stories

24 Jul 98†|†Talking Politics
Mixed reviews for Transport plans

20 Jul 98†|†UK Politics
Prescott unveils back-to-buses policy

20 Jul 98†|†Education
Prescott targets the school run





Internet Links

Department of Transport, Environment and Regions

Transport White Paper


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online