In its Road File 2006/07, the Road Users’ Association (RUA) claims road improvements are at a virtual standstill while the number of cars on the roads has increased by more than a third over the past 10 years.
Director Tim Green said: ‘Despite pledges from the Government, investment in road infrastructure is failing even to reach the levels of a decade ago.
‘With traffic increases exceeding 30% on some stretches of the network, we cannot expect to resolve the worst congestion in Europe without carrying out vital road improvements.’
He added: ‘Road users have paid for these improvements many times over.
‘Gaps in our ageing strategic road network, where motorways and dual carriageways dwindle to a single lane, are choking our villages and threaten to exclude whole regions of the country from the fair distribution of wealth, social and economic progress that depend on efficient transport links.’
The report suggests that for the size of its economy, the UK has significantly fewer miles of motorway than its European economic counterparts.
‘All the cars in Britain would have to be piled six high in order to fit onto the motorway network at the same time,’ it says.
It adds that motorways represent a tiny proportion of the road network but are five times safer than single carriageways.
The report also looks at the environmental impact of congestion saying: ‘Free-flowing traffic would help considerably to reduce the emissions from motor transport. Traffic travelling at 50mph produces half the emissions of congested traffic moving at 5mph.’
Road file report