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back to article UK gov announces Road Pricing 2.0 - Managed Motorway

The UK government has announced its plans for the national road network in coming years, assigning funding for a variety of different projects. Transport Minister Ruth Kelly has also published plans for a future of "managed motorways", which will require "a high level of monitoring and compliance to make the package work". "I am …

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Coat

More money and spying!

Woohoo, another chance for the man to get you in the wallet and track you at the same time,aint the UK great! im glad i live here arent you,where everything is safe and rosey, crime rates are down due to the number of CCTV camers and intrusion into our lives and its getting cheaper by the day to live and everyone can afford to get on the housing market, eeerrrrrrrr hold on a minute, that isnt quite right is it!

the uk is well and truly screwed and the man is just twisting it a little tighter by the day,

im getting me coat because its time to feck of me thinks!

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Right, That's it

The government are currently trying to, or are actually:

Watching where we go on CCTV

Monitoring what we say near CCTV cameras with microphones

Instructing us how to behave near CCTV cameras with speakers

Monitor our email, txts, phone calls

Some of our car journeys with ANPR

Specify which consentual porn is ok to watch

Make ownership of combinations of household chemicals illigal

Allowing almost anyone to monitor us (RIPA)

ID Cards

The largest DNA database in the world

Being incompetent at most of the above

Allowing Police to stop us, without reason and demand we account for ourselfs

(Feel free to add to this list)

They now want to monitor all the rest of the car journeys that we take.

Where are the crowds of people protesting about this, I want to join them, I can't just be angry about it any more.

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Silver badge

Democracy

So on the next ballot paper is there going to be an option to suggest having this lot burnt at the stake?

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Flame

two-tier... "John Lewis list" extended to roads.

"In all fairness, the government does seem willing to have a two-tier motorway system, not a compulsory e-surveillance panopticon"

Er, sort of.

Tier 1: not tagged, but subject to severe congestion, punitive road tax

Tier2: tagged, pay small fee for privilege.

Watch as tier1 becomes more and more expensive, till the choice only exists for the wealthy or those on govt expense regimes. Meanwhile the proletarian masses are in an Orwellian dystopia....

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Alert

Congestion will soon be solved nationwide.

Because we will not be able to afford to drive. The world supply of oil has peaked, and we are as a nation increasingly being outbid by the likes of China, for petrol and diesel. Already in the US (which is more price sensitive because of lower tax) some reports are of 5% drop in demand for fuel year on year. That must equate to a combination of fewer miles and lower speeds, and to a small extent smaller cars being driven. It is only a matter of time (and price) before we see the same effect and greater here. Any money now spent on expanding capacity on the UK road network will be money down the drain.

One side effect of the oil supply constraint, is a growing shortage of tar for asphalt. More of each barrel of oil is now converted into fuel fractions. Soon we won't be able to keep our existing road network patched up, and we will need to seriously consider closing lanes and abandoning little used roads.

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Joe
Paris Hilton

The heady ideals of socialism

Let me get this straight. The Labour government want to introduce a road network that allows the wealthy to get where they're going on time via the toll lanes, but would leave the poorer drivers unable to pay the toll charges on top of fuel duty etc sitting in a traffic jam. The same poorer drivers who have to drive because they can't afford the exorbitant prices for "public" transport (~£50 from Northampton to Bristol by train, less than £20 by car).

Whatever happened to giving everyone an equal opportunity?

Paris, because you don't need to pay a toll to get in to her high-occupancy lane...

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jai
Silver badge

meh

i've no objection to paying a bit to use the road if it means there's no idiots in front slowing everyone up

they should have the system for the normal lanes where speed limits are reduced to 50mph in high conjestion, but there should also be a fast, toll lane where the speed limit is 90mph

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barcode on the forehead at birth

Good Gods this government is obsessed with monitoring and tagging the populace (while being willfully ignorant of how easy it is for the non-law-abiding to avoid detection)!

£6Billion invested in railways and other public transport would be far more effective than closing hard shoulders (hmm, let's cut off access to emergency vehicles just when the traffic's at its peak - smart) but, obviously, wouldn't allow them to shoe-horn in ID cards at a later date...

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Anonymous Coward

<no title>

Well here is one motorist who doesn't accept a rationale for high levels of monitoring. And is rather suspicious about the compliance bit too, depending on how strict they are on enforcing bans on perfectly reasonable behaviour. In fact I need to be convinced of any automated level of monitoring. If the odd hothead needs stopping, then that's what the cops sitting in their car is for.

I find it difficult to believe I am the only one, and hope it is unlikely I'm in the minority.

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Gold badge

Fraud.

I see. So the ANPR cameras can't handle bent plates. Nothing new there apart from the implied fact that their byzantine "who can issue a plate to who" legislation has proved to be the useless pile of needless bureaucratic shite we all thought it would be.

Now, I hate to piss on their picnic* but I don't see anything that solves this in their proposals. If a car not equipped with their fancy tracking gadget uses a lane designated for those with, exactly what mechanism is going to identify the miscreant vehicle and issue the fine?.................................oops.

The Department of Transport. Idiotic ideas brought to you by complete fuckwits.

*not really, just let me know where it is and I'll turn up with a full bladder.

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Bronze badge

Alternatively, they could spend the money extorted from motorists...

...building or improving the roads and providing viable public transport. Of course, this would reduce the cash available for MP's pay rises, expenses and committees filled with MP's relatives and mates.

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N
Bronze badge

Time to go...

and live elsewhere

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Sam

too easy?

Improve communications to the point where we don't have to commute?

Why drive x miles to talk down a phone and tap at a keyboard when you don't have to?

How many people really have to have a physical presence in a particular location for their job?

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two tier road and the NHS

So it's OK to have a two tier road system, where we all pay our share - but can top up for a more deluxe service if we can afford it; just to get from A to B. But wow betide anyone who is dying, sells there house to supplement their NHS treatment - 'cos that would be just totally out of order - u must die to keep it fair! Bloody joke.

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Paris Hilton

6 Billion from where

How about spending road tax money to get the roads into good shape rather than on crap like this, just means more cameras and traffic wombles watching said cameras.

Plus where is this 6 billion coming from, has gordon left his spending money lying around.

Paris coz she's had 6 billion people at once

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Dan
Flame

and the beast duly resurfaces...

I thought the government had gone suspiciously quiet on this subject. It's not that easy, in a tech sense, to detect multiple occupants in cars, so expect an awful lot of very intrusive gadgets for this.

As for congestion, try removing all the congestion-causing schemes for a start. I note that the current Manchester congestion-charging PR sidesteps this: Chris Bisson (most of the pro-charge voices are actually actors) notes that journeys are taking longer than a few years ago. Correct. What he doesn't say is that traffic levels have increased. That's because they have, in fact, decreased, according to the official data. He merely leaves you to infer that traffic levels must have increased, rather than helping you to arrive at the correct but shocking conclusion that traffic has dropped, but journey times have risen - hmmm, might have something to do with the rabid road planning that is causing all the traffic jams. Bastards.

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Over the top

Increased traffic throughput by lowered speed limits works. And when it works, the road is full with traffic moving at the speed limit, as we experience now with existing road works schemes. There is very good compliance with the speed limit as there is very little opportunity to go faster. If you can go significantly faster, then the road is not full and the speed limit is too low.

The need for surveillance only arises if you want to use the system to enforce speed limits when the road is not full, to improve safety. I believe in enforcing speed limits, but this is nothing to do with increasing road capacity. Of course if the majority of drivers obeyed the law, there would be very much less justification for any of these proposals.

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Go

Pluses and minuses

The scheme of opening up the hard shoulder seemed good, until I actually drove on the M42. There are hidden speed cameras behind every gantry. And the gantries are about half a mile apart.

It was like watching a light show with the the number of flashes going off on the other carriageway.

Great for cutting congestion at peak times perhaps. Not so for anyone wanting to drive beyond the 70mph limit, which probably seemed like the speed of sound when people drove Morris Minors that took a mile to perform an emergency stop.

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£6 billion?

Where's this money suddenly come from? The government is flat broke and another huge wodge of cash comes along all of a sudden. It'd be nice to see this sort of money being promised to build the high speed train links we're going to need RSN if the rail network isn't to grind to a complete halt.

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What is the problem that needs fixing?

Speed limits during busy periods and using the hard shoulder increase throughput until demand exceeds the capacity of such strategies. It does not reduce the amount that people need to travel, or increase distance a person can travel per litre of fuel.

Pricing people off the roads does encourage car sharing, which would increase km/person/litre. Legalising running buses on popular routes would have the same effect and would cause less backlash from voters. Some jobs can be done just as well from home - with a good internet connection - reducing the need to travel.

"Devices using the Global Positioning System could be used in the future ..."

With selective availability turned off, GPS is accurate to 30m 95% of the time (100m with selective availability on). Differential GPS gets you accurate to 10m, but requires receiving a radio signal that continuously reports the current errors in the GPS signal. The only reason your satnav shows you are on a road is because it assumes you are on a road. If you walk through a park, a satnav will say you are on the nearest road until you are about 100m from any road. There is no way that GPS will be able to tell you which lane you are in, and you would need to add a radio transmitter to tell a road pricing system where you are. That radio transmitter alone can tell a road pricing system if you are in the wrong lane without a GPS.

Detecting if a car in a specific lane has a paid up tag does not require sending ID numbers back to a control centre. On the other hand a system capable of sending a photograph of a car without a valid tag to a control centre is also capable of sending the ID's of all valid tags back to a control centre. Given politician's outstanding reputation for honesty and competance, dozens of people will be convinced that data from a road pricing system will not be left on a flash drive in a train every month.

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Anonymous Coward

Or

How about starting a national program of building railway tracks in the central reservation of current motorways. Stations can be built at existing off ramps and buses can complete the journey to town centres and Ind. estates. The daily rush hours would see the trains carrying people only, while during off peak times the trains could carry cargo and passengers. Electrify the network, to increase efficiency and keep pollution control in more manageable locations.

The private car is the problem, not the congestion. Trying to regulate car use by raising prices is like trying to cut cigarette smoking by raising prices. It won't work because the drivers (smokers) are addicted. And it's not in the governments financial interests to have less drivers. Less drivers means less cars, means less jobs, means less income from fuel duty, less income from tax whether that's VAT or PAYE. The whole infrastructure of this country is dependent on the private car continuing to flourish and be replaced. Just take a drive around Bristol (Avonmouth) or Southampton docks, or Felixstowe docks. The number of brand new cars lined up is disgusting. And no, not all of them are for export.

And in the meantime, I am to be forced to buy a new vehicle because my car tax will shoot up by 50% otherwise. My 1992 ford sierra* does 45 MPG, and has less emissions than many newer vehicles, but because it was manufactured before 2001, it is classed as undesirable. How much co2 will be "saved" by scrapping it and buying a new vehicle ?

No, the intention is to keep the factories churning out new cars to satisfy the govt. mandated revenue stream. The benefits of buying the latest and greatest Astra TDFI, Twin Turbo, blacked out windowed, mobile sound system, capable of 150 mph seem much reduced when you're stuck in the same jam on the M4 as you were in last years model, but now you've signed up for another 3 year finance deal ... Ooops.

Just say NO !

Find a way to reduce or eliminate your car use, and escape this manufactured slide into gridlock.

*Yes, I have a car, but I only use it twice a week, to do around 16 miles in total. I am looking for a way to do without it altogether, so I am not about to scrap it and buy new. I have to carry a large amount of equipment to work and back, and usually at times when bus drivers are still in bed, so I really do have no alternative - as yet.

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Black Helicopters

Equipment on the car?

They require the car to be equipped? and GPS tracked?

M6 tag sits in the windscreen and gets read by roadside equipment.

Whats more - no privacy issues - the tag activity is only available to the account holder.

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Anonymous Coward

So....

The government takes more money off us again. Car tax already covers more than the costs of the roads.

They don't bother to build enough roads, a game they can play (other countries manage better) and then look to blame someone else for their lack of investment.

Incidently I notice that higher average speeds can be maintained without bunching. In general I notice the fast lane suffers most as people sit too close and panic brake and then accelerate hard. The slow lane often does better as people slow to 50 or 60 and use the gaps to take up the slack.

I just love the way the government always blames the people and never itself! They did it with the NHS, it's your fault, they said, you don't use the service properly etc. etc.

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Flame

Passive Accepting Sheep again

Why is there not a political party standing up for the interests of the motorist? Here are some thoughts .....

* Recognise generally as a matter of policy that the motor car is no longer a luxury item used only by a minority of the population, but has become a necessity for the majority of the population.

* Recognise Articles 9 - 12 of the UNUDHR, and immediately scrap any laws actually or potentially conflicting with same. As far as possible without conflicting with Article 11 (2) discontinue without prejudice any pending prosecutions in respect of acts which are no longer criminal offences.

* Abolish vehicle excise duty (the tax disc) -- then it'd be impossible to drive an untaxed car and there would be no need for SORNs.

* Nationalise "act only" motor insurance and pay for it via increased NI contributions -- then it'd be impossible to drive without insurance. The consequent drop in premiums would compensate for the increased tax bill.

* Make it illegal for anyone to charge money for parking on private land, unless they are willing to accept responsibility for vehicles and their contents while parked there. Car parking fees would go up, but motorists' insurance premiums would come down.

* Comprehensively review speed limits -- reduce in densely-populated areas, increase almost everywhere else.

* Allow any vehicle with three or more occupants to use bus lanes.

* Scrap all road-charging proposals and pass legislation which would require another Act of Parliament before any such could be reconsidered in future.

* Zero duty on all non-fossil fuels, including biofuels and any fuel made from waste products.

* No CO2 emissions testing requirements for any vehicle powered only by non-fossil fuel (and therefore not introducing any -new- CO2 into the atmosphere).

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ANPR

You've missed the point. Speed Cameras using ANPR have been widely used across the UK for some time now to ensure that traffic adheres to speed limit around roadworks. They work because they calculate average speed, so you don't get the "speed up, oh wait there's a camera slow down effect". It's the only system for maintaining speed limits that actually works. I'm sure, we've all noticed that.

Unfortunately though:

Conspiracy Theorists + ANPR(Teh interwebs + Pub) = Invasion of privacy

..so it's unlikely it'll every get off the ground. Which is unfortunate because it costs buttons.

(BTW: MI5/Police/Masons/illuminati/whoever actually couldn't give a monkey's that you are doing a flyer on works time to visit the tin foil hat shop. No really, they don't. Trust me, I'm a doctor)

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Stop

Way to solve the wrong problem, guys

Good to hear the government are finding ways to increase the capacity of the roads they are taxing us off.

What would be even better would be for them to sort out some other ways of getting around the place so that when the combination of rising fuel prices ( and lets face it they'll only keep rising ) and rising fuel taxes actually stops us being able to drive so much there will still be ways for those of us living outside of major cities to get from A to B. In the ten miles between the town where I live and the one where I work there is no direct rail link, very few if any busses and a only badly signposted and circuitous cycle route that is easy to find on the map but not so great on the ground. It's a 15 minute drive and well over an hour by any other means of transport. It doesn't seem to me like it would be so hard to sort out at least one of those, rather than constantly investing in roads that will increasingly become the property of the elite.

If we're around the oil peak now then it stands to reason we're probably at the road-usage peak as well and the decline of one will be tied to the decline of the other.

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Anonymous Coward

And yet ...

If motorway pricing was introduced, it might deter people from using the motorways for short journeys. Case in point being people who have discovered that it's quicker to jump on the motorway for 1 stop than to drive through a town or city. A significant number of accidents are caused by these people, hitting the motorway at 45 to 50 mph, not getting any faster, then leaving at the next exit. Usually, they all travel at about 4 feet from the car in front, and see it as their right to pull out of the slip road in a procession of 5 or 6 cars , even if there is no space to pull into. Existing traffic has to brake, some people swerve into another lane, and the git doing 95 in the outside lane has to do some quick thinking, which by nature of being a git means they usually hit something.

So gits to the left of me, and gits to the right. Is there any chance of just doing it right for all our sakes ?

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Flame

Ruth Kelly and "Spot the police officer"

From 5.25 in the paper:

"Traffic policing is a clearly recognised strand of policing activity... We will therefore work with the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to identify the most appropriate way to enable additional police resource to be provided for motorway traffic enforcement purposes where that proves necessary, possibly through developing a new standard ‘framework’ agreement."

They can develop whatever new agreement they want, it's already too late to try to return more police officers to motorways. The creation of regional motorway policing groups (such as in the North-West - see http://www.wigantoday.net/latest-north-west-news/Police-reveal-plans-for-joint.4262008.jp) is in part due to the fact that individual force motorway units have been repeatedly downsized until they were no longer individually viable - the development of the Highways Agency Traffic Officer (HATO) Service was part of the Government's strategic plan to reduce the bill for policing (their own official figures show 647 fewer police officers at the last count - see http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs08/hosb0208.pdf).

Put together with the deskilling of officers through civilianisation, the loss of over 40% of the current Police Service through retirement before the 2012 Olympics, and the admission that there won't be enough firearms officers, qualified search team officers, or protection officers for 2012 even if every single one of these across the entire UK was so deployed (which in itself isn't practical), and you will realise why Ruth Kelly has been badly advised over this - "managed motorways" will have to "manage" without more police officers.

HATOs will be undertaking "policing" and speed enforcement on motorways and arterial roads within 3 or 4 years, because there won't be any alternative.

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Paris Hilton

Country going to the dogs?

I, for one, welcome our new bureaucratic overlords.

Paris, cause she likes it doggy.

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Rob
Paris Hilton

well i never

that first premise doesn't seem to make any sense, he says cars on roads are the biggest problem roads have, well what the hell does he think roads are for if not for cars to move about on??

Paris, she's crying because Guy Fawkes failed.

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Public transport

Would providing an alternative a good way to remove some cars from the road?

Anything better than 1960s trains on a 1950s network (the last major investment in new tracks, beside Eurostar HS1), with tighter SLA than "anything within 1 or 2 hours of advertised time is totally OK", even some available seats, and if possible competitive with car use price... I mean anything as 20% good as any train service in Europe ?

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Dead Vulture

Kelly's Hero...

All your monies are belong to us.

NuLab 2008

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Stop

@Lewis

I have to disagree about the primary cause of reduced congestion that you postulate for the hard shoulder schemes. I'm a frequent traveller on the first of these (the M42 in the vicinity of B'ham airport and the NEC) and from my experience the benefit seems to come from the early segregation of traffic leaving at the next exit and joining in a disciplined lane distinct from the existing flow. Of course, temporary reduced limits to help (M25 M3-M40 section) but these still get hideously congested (understatement of the year) if too much traffic is joining in too-wide a funnel.

And for my next trick I will solve the credit crisis whilst standing on one leg and whistling "Yankee Doodle Dandee".

STOP: becuase that's what happens on the motorways

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Congestion Control

An obvious way to manage congestion on the motorways is to have some sort of pro-active slip road control - ie don't let more traffic join the motorway when it's already full. Of course, this means redesigning all the junctions to incorporate space for said access control, and putting up decent signage on the approaches to indicate the current state of access to the motorway.

They could start with trials of signs showing the amount of traffic on the M25 at a good number of M25 junctions and their approaches, and see what effect they have on the number of drivers joining at those junctions.

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Black Helicopters

I've awoken in hell

Met SO15 - the UK's secret terror police.

Making the secret police look like the good old days.

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Black Helicopters

You WILL comply

There's something about the words 'monitoring and compliance' when uttered by this government that send chills down my spine.

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Paris Hilton

Choice choice choice

Aside from the big brother implications of this tale of governMENTAL woe, that first paragraph sticks in my craw.

"...giving motorists a choice about how they make their journeys."

I don't want choice, I don't want to chose between 4 equally dismal services. I just want one that works when I need it to.

Paris, as even the French know how to build a road system, including tolls without resorting to technological w*nkery.

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Stop

b*ll*x..

"giving motorists a choice about how they make their journeys"

there's that word again - *choice* just like the *choice* that we have for schools or hospitals i.e. none at all. And another opportunity to screw and monitor the hapless motorist (not necessarily in that order)

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Flame

Buy shares in speed camera manufacturers

So... the solution is to fit speed cameras to every mile of every even vaguely busy motorway (or maybe every mile of every motorway), thus depriving us of our privacy. Why not keep the data in the same place as all that phone call, email and web browsing data that the government is planning to keep? Add in our passoport details and a link to the NHS IT systems and call it a national identity register!

Why not become the most surveilled nation in the world and have it sold to you as 'measures to keep traffic flowing'. What happened to the integrated transport policy that Labour made such a big thing of in the late 1990s and why are we doing the exact opposite to the rest of Europe - allowing rail travel to become more and more expensive even though it is the greenest form of transport.

Strategy. Just a word beginning with 'S' and definitely not to be used by anyone in the government after the word 'Transport'. How dumb does it get?

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HOT lanes work on wide roads

How is having a HOT lane going to work on roads that only have three lanes? Unless you are prepared to pay you are going to be going at a maximum of 56 mph as lorries over take one another in the other lanes.

What is needed is a real, joined up, look at transport in the country. It won't happen thought because it needs vision and will cost money. Instead the government will dabble and try and force people to comply by wielding a big stick.

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Pirate

Calling it

> it might be more honest to call this "optional road pricing and degree of surveillance"

One might call it nu labour's latest fanatasy of a 1000 year Reich, but I prefer to call it banging another nail into its own coffin.

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Paris Hilton

Here's an idea...

Why not try and persuade people to actually give up their cars and use public transport instead? Perhaps preventing transport companies from ripping people off with rediculously high prices during rush hour might be a start. (Crazy idea, I know.)

Admittedly that might have been easier if there still was a usable public transport system in the UK.

Paris, because she likes riding in public.

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Anonymous Coward

EU road-pricing

It was bound to rise from the dead - road-pricing is part of EU agreement

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Pay-As-You-Drive?

Would the toll option potentially come with lower or no road tax, so you PAYD?

At least this might see the 'BMW' lane disappear and be available to all as all the 'important' businessmen move to the toll lanes thus freeing up more road space for those still on the congested old system :)

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The Difference between Surveillance and Tracking

is the difference between reasonable Law and Order and Totalitarian control.

Punters get upset when they read about talking CCTV in Middlesbrough, but they're actually an appropriate use of the technology. They let people know, in a public place, that their actions are visible and that, if they commit antisocial behaviour, those actions have been recorded. They then have the option of ceasing to behave antisocially or face the consequences. Crucially, the surveillance has no way of identifying the watched and - unless they move from talking to listening, they present only a minimal breach of privacy. In addition, it actually prevents trivial crimes and petty nuisance and, as such, is largely welcomed by the natives.

ANPR is a whole different kettle of fish. With that, anyone with access to the data (and that, currently, is probably a few thousand people) can't just watch what's happening in a given area but can identify who they are watching. Not only that, they can ask questions of the data like "Where was that car an hour ago?" (or "last thursday" etc) and so on.

One of the advantages to an attacker of knowing where you are is that they also immediately know where you aren't. So if, for example, the attacker wants access to your home for reasons of theft (of goods or data) or to plant close surveillance devices, then knowing that you're out and about is a pretty serious advantage.

Permitting the State to monitor its citizens to this extent is the most dangerous and ignorant mistake the citizenry can make. Even if the current incompetent incumbents are not inclined to abuse such powers to the extent of the nightmare totalitarians we frighten small children with, merely allowing such an infrastructure to be built massively increases the chances that such a regime will arise and find a warm welcoming environment ready made to accommodate and empower it.

The question is - how do we make our ignorant fellow citizens aware of the potential dangers and, in particular, the crucial difference between anonymous watching and targeted tracking.

Clearly the government strategy at the moment is to bombard us with more and more cases for targeted tracking, which will, coincidentally, make it all the more necessary for us to be able to prove our identity with their trackable ID Cards.

If you're interested in exploring the alternatives to their draconian proposals, please pop along to http://www.fullmoon.nu/book/side_issues/IdentityCards.htm

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What's REALLY going on...

I've seen the secrete papers. What they REALLY plan on doing is forcing all of you to get a GPS tracking system installed in your bum. Any time you move faster than 5 mph, the presumed top speed of a person with GPS receiver in his/her arse, you will get billed for it.

They still haven't worked out how to deal with false charges caused by excessively powerful bowel movements, but they are diligently researching this slippery problem!

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Anonymous Coward

@: OR Alan

"And in the meantime, I am to be forced to buy a new vehicle because my car tax will shoot up by 50% otherwise. My 1992 ford sierra* does 45 MPG, and has less emissions than many newer vehicles, but because it was manufactured before 2001, it is classed as undesirable. How much co2 will be "saved" by scrapping it and buying a new vehicle ?"

I think you may have misunderstood the changes to the road tax - these terribly awful, unfair, evil etc increases only apply to cars built AFTER 2001. The cars built and registered BEFORE 2001 are not being buggered about with. Your tax on your Sierra won't be changed.

*Sits happily in 1998 BMW*

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Anonymous Coward

Thinking Laterally

How about employing people to drive three abreast at an appropriate speed down the motorway at peak times in efficient small cars suitably marked so that other drivers know it's illegal to pass them (enforced by a call to mr plod with a picture of the offender if anyone does overtake). Cheap to implement, reasonably cheap to run, non invasive and provides employment (albeit not employment that I'd want). You could probably reduce it to one car once people had got used to it.

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Stop

Dogma failure strikes again

The argument goes that if you build more roads the traffic will increase until they're full again. So if you increase the capacity of the existing roads, won't exactly the same thing happen? Either the argument is flawed or this proposal is flawed. Quite possibly both.

If you accept this "potentially infinite" growth of traffic argument, people will travel until the cost, or the inconvenience of congestion, exceeds their tolerance level. To reduce traffic, you would have to make it even less agreeable to travel. Not a good vote winner for a government on the slide.

Personally, I don't accept the argument. There's only so much traveling I want to do and I expect most people are the same. There's a minimum that's essential for getting to work, shopping, etc. Then there's a certain amount of leisure use of a car. But beyond that, I'd rather do other things than sit behind a wheel. Believe me, I'm not sitting here waiting for the road capacity to increase just so i can go out and drive around on it.

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