Interesting to see Transport minister Lord Adonis taking a tour of some UK motorways in the same way he did a week on the trains earlier this year. At the very least, here is a secretary of state willing to get out and try the transport network it seems as if Adonis has a genuine interest in sorting some of the problems. But I'm less impressed by his diary of the tour on the DfT's website. He seems more concerned with taking pops at the likes of Welcome Break and other services operators, while glossing over problems such as the congestion caused by the tolls on the Dartford Crossing.
This daily mess is mentioned, but there is no direct reference to the fact that it's the tolls that cause the tailbacks, and the crossing paid for itself years ago. You queue at Dartford because the Treasury wants to make money from you. It is also clearly being used a PR opportunity for campaigns such as Think! rather than addressing some of the pressing issues. Widening and hard shoulder running is also given a push, which is fine, but perhaps Lord Adonis should consider the option of teaching drivers to use the roads we have properly before building more.
He hasn't yet mentioned the appalling state of road discipline on the UK's motorways, especially the inability of what seems like a majority of drivers to get out of the middle lane. This behaviour crucifies road capacity and causes enormous frustration, and precisely nothing is being done about it.
He's off around the top half of the M25 next and then up the M1. Have a look at his schedule here and let us know what you think.