Road building – it cannot go on (but probably will)!

The report we reviewed thias week includes the following paragraph:

The roads that were the subject of our case studies did not provide ‘the answer’ to the problems that they were supposed to solve. In each case, the local authority and national government are together locked into a highly car-dependent development model, in which road building and the associated development generates more traffic, which in turn creates pressure for more road building. The case for more road building is partly justified on the basis that existing roads cannot take the strain any longer, and partly on the basis that increased road capacity will magically unlock the economic potential of the area. However, provision of more road capacity does not deliver a stable situation – the more capacity is increased, the more capacity increases are ‘needed’.

    The Impact of Road Projects in England, Transport for Quality of Life, March 2017. Commissioned by CPRE.

Quite. The situation in Cornwall has been the same, new roads followed by new development, followed by more roads. The Truro/Threemilestone area is a good example of where development and road capacity increases go hand in hand, while ostensibly the objective is to reduce congestion. A similar situation prevails in the Camborne-Redruth area where rather than relieving congestion the new ‘East-West’ link road is allowing for more development which will generate more vehicle use and more demand for extra road space!

We need an alternative, sustainable transport policy – an issue we will return to!


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