RAC report outlines merits of building and developing road network
7 November 2008

The RAC Foundation has released a report that argues the case for building and developing more roads in Britain.

“Common perceptions about road building are too often wide of the mark,” says Stephen Glaister, Director of the RAC Foundation, “road building, if well designed, can be a cost effective way of improving mobility for all, without having a material effect on climate change.”

The RAC says there are too many negative myths - supported by the mainstream media – about building more roads.

The organisation’s report insists that building more roads will not have a significant effect on climate change, so long as wider policy measures like road pricing are introduced alongside it.

It also argues that Britain is not so congested that new roads simply clog up with traffic as soon as they open – and says that roads are a far more efficient use of land space than railways in terms of the number of travellers carried.

Building roads also benefits low-income groups, despite arguments to the contrary. The RAC points out that 92 percent of the population rely on roads and cars for travel.

Motorists more than pay their way too. Road users pay £45 billion pounds a year in motoring related taxes. This dwarfs the cost of running the road network (which costs roughly £10 billion per year).

“It is essential that sensitively designed new road capacity features alongside plans to develop housing, utilities and public transport” concludes Glaister. “The myths and the merits of roads need to be recognised.”

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Maserati Levante S GranLusso 2019 road test review - hero front
    24 May 2019
    Car review
    Is this Ferrari-engined Levante the performance SUV it always should have...
  • Bentley Continental GT Convertible 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    24 May 2019
    First Drive
    New Conti Convertible has all the many advantages of a new platform, seen...
  • Audi SQ5 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    High-performance soft-roader adopts new sporty V6 diesel mild-hybrid power,...

Will Powell

Join the debate

Comments
3

7 November 2008

[quote Stephen Glaister, Director of the RAC Foundation]“road building, if well designed, can be a cost effective way of improving mobility for all, without having a material effect on climate change.”[/quote]

I'd say that building new roads could well reduce the CO2 pumped out - as long as they're routed correctly. I'd love to have any new, straighter roads to use for my commute. If they were built I'd drive less miles, pollute less, save time and money!

Town planners need to think about brownfield sites becoming roads rather than a housing developer making a worse impact on the area. Near where I grew up is a recently abandoned DEFRA site, which is on a T-junction of 2 A-roads. Why not make some of it into a crossroads and get the traffic that can, away faster, and thus reduce the impact of traffic/congestion and improve life for all? Instead it will be a dense housing estate to fulfil government targets for housing, even although it doesn't make much economic sense today...

11 November 2008

Surely more roads will lead to reduced CO2? The majority of people already drive so there won't be a massive increase in the number of cars on the road, and with more road space available, congestion will be reduced and therefore the amount of time people are sat in jams spurting out greenhouses gases will be reduced.

11 November 2008

[quote Autocar]Stephen Glaister, Director of the RAC Foundation, “road building, if well designed, can be a cost effective way of improving mobility for all, without having a material effect on climate change.”[/quote]

What poopycock Mr Glaister. Every fool knows that building roads affects the climate. Been known for millennia. No sooner had the occupying Romans started buiding their dead straight roads in Britannia than it became so warm that red grape growing and wine production became possible, like the climate of southern France today. Once the Romans left and roads fell into disrepair the climate in Britain cooled down culminating in the mini ice age of the 18th and early 19th century. Tis an indisputable fact. Cause and effect.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Maserati Levante S GranLusso 2019 road test review - hero front
    24 May 2019
    Car review
    Is this Ferrari-engined Levante the performance SUV it always should have...
  • Bentley Continental GT Convertible 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    24 May 2019
    First Drive
    New Conti Convertible has all the many advantages of a new platform, seen...
  • Audi SQ5 2019 first drive review - hero front
    22 May 2019
    First Drive
    High-performance soft-roader adopts new sporty V6 diesel mild-hybrid power,...