Britain boasts the most congested motorways among the EU’s 25 member states, languishing behind France, Italy and Germany and alongside Lithuania, Slovakia and Hungary in terms of traffic density per mile.

And that’s despite UK car ownership rates being lower than those of many European counterparts.

However, “urgently needed” improvements to the road network must be accompanied by voluntary road pricing.

That was the view of the RAC Foundation, whose director Edmund King recently presented the Road Users’ Alliance Road File report to the Transport Times conference in London.

King advocated a pilot voluntary road pricing scheme used in Oregon, USA, where drivers pay per mile but receive a discount on the cost of fuel. The scheme has resulted in peak period traffic being cut by 20%.

If 10% of UK drivers adopted a pay-as-you-go system, there would be significant congestion reduction, argued King.