A major inquiry into the UK’s major roads network - the country’s network of motorways, trunk roads and principal roads – has been announced.
The Commons Transport Committee will consider current and future demand for roads, how capacity can best be used, the case for expansion, alternative strategies and the implications of climate change commitments.
It will not however look at road pricing, but will draw on information from its current inquiry - taxes and charges on road users.
The extent to which growth in demand can be met through other modes of transport, new technology or land use policies will also be investigated.
Last month the secretary of state for transport, Geoff Hoon, announced that the Department for Transport would begin work to “ensure that we make best use of our national transport networks and accelerate the process of identifying where future expansion is needed”.
A key part of this work will be a national networks strategy group, covering road and rail, chaired by Lord Adonis.
The Highways Agency, Network Rail, HM Treasury and other government departments will also be represented on the group.
Fleet operators are invited to submit evidence by 14 January 2009.
A guide for written submissions can be found at: www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm.