Figures from the Department for Transport's (DfT), Traffic in Great Britain – 1st Quarter 2003, study showed that traffic on minor rural roads surged 5%, compared to 2% on motorways and major rural roads.
However, London managed to reduce traffic levels on some of its roads, recording a 2% fall in vehicles coming into the City, a factor the DfT accredits to the congestion charge.
Despite the congestion charge's reduction in traffic, the Green Party has attacked Ken Livingstone's London road programme for being 'environmentally and socially damaging.'
The political party has questioned Livingstone's decision to put cash into new roads while neglecting safe routes to school schemes, travel awareness and cycling.
Jenny Jones, Green Party member of the London Assembly, said: 'He did a fantastic job with getting congestion charging up and running, which is why so many environmental campaigners can't understand his support for road building.
'If the Mayor is already struggling to meet air quality targets for improving the health of Londoners, then why is he building more roads, which means more kids with asthma and more old people dying prematurely of respiratory disease.'