Calm UK’s roads to encourage walking and cycling | Letters
Evidence has long been available showing that new roads generate too much extra traffic to solve congestion (New roads fail to ease traffic or lift economies, say researchers, 20 March). It is ignored because of intense pressure not only from the motor and construction industries but from a large section of the public. It was clear before the M25 corridor was hacked through the country and communities around London that the development would greatly increase traffic in the area, but it would have taken a brave politician to stop the destruction and switch to more forward-looking solutions.
This is not to question the value of the CPRE report. Evidence keeps accumulating and the more often and forcefully it is put before politicians and the public the better. But change is likely to be slow, and meanwhile it is also important to press for some damage reduction. The scandal of most road developments is that hardly any of the immense cost is spent to mitigate the impact on people. In Holland many motorways are lined by barriers to reduce noise and by greenery to absorb the fumes. Why are such measures limited and rare here? Apart from motorways, much is spent straightening and widening rural A roads. Why does this work hardly even include provision for pedestrians even where settlements are a short walking distance apart? The cost of adding a strip of paving or grass on one side would be small but of great benefit both to residents and visiting ramblers.
Source: Guardian Transport