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Going into orbit


As the government's director for the M25 Orbit Multi-Modal Study, I have no expectation that it will recommend a package of widening measures, including dual five lane and seven lane motorways and parallel local roads as you describe (NCE 29 November).

All the multi-modal studies are being conducted in an open and inclusive manner. The Orbit Study strategy is being developed through a major consultation exercise, part of which involved asking all interested parties for their views.

Many options have been aired by participants, though very few have mentioned widening to dual-five standard or new parallel roads.

However, if, as you suggest, the recommendations are already known, why bother with all the tiresome and time consuming strategy development and modelling that has yet to be carried out.

An indication of the recommendations for road improvements can be gained from looking at the study's draft overarching strategy. Major new infrastructure is the last thing to be considered after actions to make better use of roads, reduce demand, manage traffic and minor works, and provide alternatives to car travel.

David Cooper OBE (M), Orbit project director, government office for the South East, dcooper. gose@goregions. gsi. gov. uk

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