14 January 2004

The RAC Foundation has called the Goverment to action on the sorry state of UK roads. A new report published today has labelled the current approach to the road network 'ad hoc and short-term' in comparison to plans for increased airport capacity and expenditure on railways, and demands a £20 billion rethink necessary to avoid impending gridlock.

The report suggests speeding up projects already approved for widening the M1, M6, M25 and A12, as well as reconsidering previously-rejected improvements on key stretches of the M4 and M3, of the A27 on the South Coast, and of the West Midlands' proposed Western Orbital Route.

Other notable upgrades it suggests are at key points on some of the countries more minor, but equally congested roads; parts of the A1 in the North East, the A5 in the West Midlands, the A47 in East Anglia and the A64 in Yorkshire are all mentioned. It also calls for a new link between the M1 and A1 in North London that would take traffic away from the overused North Circular.

'We need to get out of the current mess by speeding up schemes and setting tight timetables for improvements,' said David Holmes, Chairman of the RAC Foundation. 'As the motorist is already contributing some £44 billion in taxes each year, an improvement programme of this magnitude over ten years would be excellent value for money.'

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'We claim to be the fourth largest economy in the world,' he stated, 'so surely we can afford a decent road system to support economic growth.'

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