Why We Paid More Than £300m To Make Traffic Jams Worse

Mon 8th Apr 2019

Highways England has made a stark admission that measures taken to reduce congestion have actually made the traffic worse.

The pinch point programme was introduced in 2011 with the aim of reducing congestion, stimulate growth in local economies and improve. The projects were devised and run at a local level, costing up to £10m at a time, but a report from Highways England found that though there was a slight improvement to rush hour journeys, but these gains were lost overall by major delays at other times of the day. The report found that the delays were generally caused by the introduction of traffic lights on motorways.

Speaking to the Press Association, Nicholas Lyes, RAC head of roads policy said: "It's very disappointing that Highways England's work to tackle pinch points on its road network has not been as successful as had been hoped.

"While congestion has been reduced at peak times of the day, unfortunately many schemes have seen increased traffic at off-peak periods, mostly due to traffic lights being introduced.

"Luckily, it seems as though there are some simple steps that can be taken to improve the worst of these new off-peak traffic flow issues, such as changing signals to work part-time instead of full-time.

"It is also important to realise that this work was not just about reducing congestion and that many schemes have seen small reductions in the number of road casualties."