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'Jam' report targets congestion

Date: 20 September 2011   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Improved behaviour on the roads can play a significant role in congestion reduction, while learner drivers should face a more demanding driving test, according to a report from the Parliamentary Transport Committee entitled Out of the Jam.

Recommending "affordable methods" to curb congestion, the report's remit did not cover road building or road pricing, the latter being ruled out by the Government, except for heavy goods vehicles.

Better understanding and adherence to the Highway Code is recommended, including mailing leaflets to all drivers applying for a new tax disc or licence, highlighting sources of detailed travel information. That includes reminding vehicle users to utilise traffic information buttons on radios, only operated by 25% of drivers but fitted to 80% of vehicles.

A review of traffic flow on the M4 entering London during the first year after the dedicated bus lane was scrapped could lead to it being re-instated if the lane actually proved beneficial across all travellers.

No details are suggested as yet for the tougher driving test. Central to the committee's proposals is more effective management of roadwork programmes with improved co-ordination between highway authorities and organisations carrying out works. Equally, there is a call for variations between regional approaches to roadworks be more urgently addressed, and for a monitoring of the cost and safety issues surrounding 'managed motorway' schemes using the hard shoulder.

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