If they are so useless why do we continue to expand road capacity?

Despite evidence that negates the whole idea of expanding road capacity, policy makers still persist in supporting more road ‘improvements’ – why?

1) Inertia or we’ve always done things that way
People, politicians and policymakers have that common human trait of doing what they have always done. No questions asked, no consideration that what is done might be irrelevant, we just carry on regardless.

2) Common sense
Common sense is a much abused and misused term. It implicitly implies sensibility, knowledge crafted and grafted over generations, something so obvious that it cannot be questioned. Yet frequently what passes for common sense is just plain wrong. It appears ‘common sense’ that by expanding the road network, congestion will be diminished. But the evidence suggests otherwise.

3) Vested interests
Yes there are lots of people and organisations out there who see road building as good for them – the construction sector, tourist industry, the car industry.

4) It looks good
Building roads looks like progress; its visible, something is being done to solve a problem. A new road – keeping up with regions in the fast lane (though actually slow!).

5) It’s all part of the obsession with growth – population growth, economic growth – growth, growth and more growth. Give me growth that’s what i want!

6) Evidence based policy making was superseded by policy based evidence long before the rise of President Trump.

So we carry on building although it wont solve anything!


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