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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 18:24 GMT
Traffic levels on road increasing
Traffic jam
Roads are not congested
The Department of Transport has dismissed suggestions that more traffic means roads are more congested.

Traffic was up 2.1% between July to September on the same time last year, according to DoT figures out on Thursday.

A spokesman said more people are travelling but not all at the same time, which leads to congestion.

Meanwhile the Highways Agency was shown to be missing targets for road repairs.

Use of vans up 5% between July and September
Use of cars up 1% in same period
Use of goods traffic up 5%
Traffic on motorways up 1%
Urban A-roads record 4% growth in traffic
Use of minor roads up 3%
Use of bicycles down 21%
Use of motorcycles and buses up 9%

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "It is misleading to suggest that an increase in traffic levels is the same as an increase in congestion.

"Increased traffic is simply a product of people travelling more, and increases in traffic reflect a strong and growing economy.

"We are not aware that this has led to an increase in congestion.

"Congestion is when lots of people choose to travel at the same time. We are addressing congestion by putting in increased investment, making better use of the roads we have."

"Waging war on motorists"

Traffic jam
Roads are not congested
Commenting on the figures, shadow transport secretary Tim Yeo said: ""There is no quick fix solution to solving the problem of congestion, but waging a war on the motorist is certainly not one of them. "

Annual targets about roadworks and their completion were missed by The Highways Agency , which also failed to meet its road users' satisfaction target as well as missing a target to improve crossings.

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21 Aug 02 |  Britain in a Jam

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