Government transport policies should encourage fewer journeys, according to a new report.
The study, by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, suggests policies should encourage people to use new technologies as alternatives to journeys and help stimulate travel at off-peak times.
Reducing congestion by encouraging these changes would contribute to improvements in safety, public health as well as boosting economic growth.
Philippa Oldham, head of transport and manufacturing at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and lead author of the report, said:
“The Department for Transport’s policies on the UK transport network make no reference at all to influencing demand for journeys, which is the most sustainable form of transport planning. With the advent of smartphones and videoconferencing, much more should be done by Government, the public and private sector to avoid unnecessary travel and, in particular, avoid travelling during the morning and evening peaks.
“A transport network that is over-burdened at peak hours and relatively quiet for much of the rest of the day is an inherently inefficient system.
“Government must show leadership and introduce policies that reduce demand on the transport network by encouraging car sharing, local commercial network collaboration by companies and more flexible working hours.”
The report is available here.