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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 18:24 
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Many people have been saying for years that much of the congestion and slow progress on our roads results from councils pursuing politically-motivated anti-car policies. This is now borne out by a new report from the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Britain’s roads are grinding to a halt because of the huge number of traffic lights, speed bumps and cycle lanes brought in to appease the green lobby, according to a report.

The surge in anti-car measures is also costing the country billions of pounds a year, say independent experts – but none has improved safety. The authors claim the efforts by councils to wage war on motorists are similar to those taken by communist regimes.

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) found that the number of traffic lights increased by more than 40 per cent over a 20-year period – from 23,000 in 1994 to 33,000 in 2014.

Over virtually the same period, there was a 20-fold rise in speed bumps, of which there are now 60,000 in the UK, while signs for cycle routes rocketed from 1,572 in 1993 to 41,188 in 2013.

However, the number of vehicles on the road has remained around the same level since 2005, and the experts blame over-regulation of roads for causing the gridlocks.

According to the Department for Transport’s own figures, the average speed for a car at peak times has slowed from 25.3mph in 2012 to 23.6mph last year.

Experts have worked out that if the overall result of all the measures is a two-minute delay to the average journey, the total cost to the economy is £16 billion a year. Meanwhile, the UK’s annual spend on traffic controls is estimated to be in excess of £1 billion.

Dr Richard Wellings, one of the authors of the report, criticised local councils for giving in to green lobbyists and safety campaigners at the expense of the economy. He said: ‘Councils are taking the same approach as communist East Germany – trying to force people out of their cars and on to subsidised public transport.

‘From a green point of view you’re better off getting rid of all these traffic controls. They actually increase pollution by delaying traffic and making car engines run less efficiently.’

The Department for Transport say the increase in traffic regulations has made the roads safer.

But Dr Wellings said that experiments in Bristol, and in towns in Germany and the Netherlands, showed that when traffic lights were removed the accident rate remained low and traffic flowed freely.

He is calling on the Government to remove 80 per cent of British traffic lights. The criticism appears to be supported by an incident last October, when a complicated junction of 42 traffic lights in Beverley, East Yorkshire, stopped working. But rather than be hit by the expected chaos, traffic actually flowed more smoothly.

Sustrans, a charity which encourages people to cycle, walk or travel by public transport, said: ‘Cycle lanes actually increase the capacity of a road. People on bikes occupy far less space than people in cars.’

"Show me someone who says that they have never exceeded a speed limit, and I'll show you a liar, or a menace." (Austin Williams - Director, Transport Research Group)

Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 01:25 
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 02:17
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The report : ... conomy.pdf
and ... reen-lobby

Touches on a very interesting points....

Not least about priority...

After all it is the priority of the major and main roads that then had the powers that be in the past introduce traffic lights and road furnishings to make traffic stop instead of coming into conflict with others. Not really a real solution.
The 'go on left' in the States is only occasionally seen here.

Is it not time that this priority was over-hauled and many controls removed. Making more roundabout and enforcing more lane discipline might to far more for reduced travel speed (& so help the economy), plus of course provide more respect to authority too.

Making rules good for 'everyone' will never happen but a clear hierarchy is sensible.
Frustration is one of the two prime causes of accidents so any thing that can reduce this should be good for road safety.
Much more to this and needs a thorough read !

Safe Speed for Intelligent Road Safety through proper research, experience & guidance.

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