Congested roads costs UK £20bn

  • Report says Britain has worst transport system
  • Road building and road pricing recommended
  • Congestion costs economy £20 billion a year
Britain has the most-congested roads, the fewest motorways and worst public transport system among leading industrialised countries.

That's the view of the right-wing think-tank Policy Exchange, which believes traffic congestion is costing the UK economy £20 billion a year.

To alleviate this problem, according to the think-tank's Towards Better Transport report, the UK should use private finance initiatives to improve the transport infrastructure - in other words, use private companies to fund road-building projects, which they then charge motorists to use.

The RAC Foundation welcomed the report's findings into road pricing.

'A lack of strategic vision on the part of successive Governments has left us with a road network unable to meet the UK's needs,' said a spokeswoman.

'Road pricing could help get the most out of the road network, but it cannot be a substitute for investment. Intelligent investment decisions are needed now if the UK is to keep moving in the future.'

Friends of the Earth, however, said road building was not the answer.

A spokesman said: 'Expanding Britain's road network would be environmental madness. More road capacity will mean more traffic and more pollution.

'Road pricing could be part of the answer, but the revenue must be used to get people out of their cars and into less-polluting alternatives instead, not to build more roads.'
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