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ATM: an accident waiting to happen?

I refer to Mr Styles' letter (NCE 17 April). Active Traffic Management (ATM) is expected to give 13% more capacity on the motorways at peak times, but this additional capacity will soon be swallowed up at the present rate of vehicle growth.

So what will happen when that capacity is used and none of the basic problems of transport capacity have been addressed?

Any solution then would be even more expensive and more difficult to put in place because of these increased traffic volumes.

What is needed in the UK is an integrated transport system that encompasses road, rail and possibly water.

Some heavy goods, particularly bulk products, could be moved by other means and if there was a decent and reliable infrastructure for passenger transport, particularly in the cities, then more people could travel that way.

As for ATM, it may be carefully monitored but it will be presenting motorists with more variables to deal with.

They will have to look for additional signage and lane openings/closures at the peak times when they really need to concentrate on other traffic. This could produce confusion which is when accidents are more likely to occur.

Also, by their definition. accidents and breakdowns cannot be expected to occur nice and tidily in the vicinity of the additional lay bys.

The M42 experiment may be successful so far, but I can only see it as a success until something goes wrong.

ROGER AXON (M) Sardinia, rogeraxon@hotmail.co.uk

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