The British Parliament has published a report on actions to be taken in order to reduce the country’s traffic congestion. The report (undertaken by the Transport Committee) underlines the importance of a tougher driving test greater use of real-time information systems and better co-ordination between road management authorities as the way to reducing congestion on roads without road building or road pricing.

Committee Chair Louise Ellman stated that “congestion costs the economy billions of pounds each year (a previous inquiry ‘Transport and the Economy’ cited evidence that showed that the rising cost of congestion would cost the UK economy an extra £22 billion per annum by 2025. Congestion can be very localised or it can involve the strategic road network). Improving the way we manage road space so that the network runs more smoothly is vital to the prosperity of the nation. Pursuing this challenge should form a key plank of central government transport policy”.

According to Ms Ellman “the Department for Transport cannot simply devolve all responsibility for managing the road network to individual Highway Authorities. These organisations have a key role and duty for managing their local networks but the DfT should actively support them in working together closely to fulfil that duty”.
The Transport Committee set out a series of recommendations to government about how it could curb congestion and get more out of the existing road network.

Some of the recommendations include:

  • Considering options for a free Highway Code ‘App’
  • Sending a clear leaflet to all drivers when they apply for or renew a tax disk or a driving licence
  • Monitoring cost and safety issues of the ‘managed motorway’ scheme
  • Requiring all highway authorities to publish traffic management performance measurements no later than the beginning of 2013
  • Working more closely with highway authorities to identify the latest forms of intelligent traffic management systems and renew its funding for the so- called ‘ITS Toolkit’
  • Developing a strategy based on best practice for the delivery of real-time travel information to motorists


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Original Publication Date: Tue 20 Sep 2011