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Killing congestion

The question

The National Audit Office has slammed the Highways Agency for being slow to introduce simple congestion busting measures such as hard shoulder running and variable speed limits. How would you cut congestion?

The first priority would have to be massive investment in public transport and rail freight to provide viable alternatives to car and lorry use. This would be followed by motorway tolling and congestion charging for all city centre areas.

Increasing road capacity by such measures as hard shoulder use should only be used to ease severe local bottlenecks, as the aim is to cut congestion by reducing the amount of traffic.

Mike Paul, 50, senior engineer, Stuttgart The only way to reduce congestion is to remove vehicles from the roads - which is impossible, given the desire and need for personal transport. I think publicity and big tax incentives should be used to encourage people to use mopeds and motorbikes. The more of these on the roads, the safer it will become to go by bike. If this was combined with bicycle-friendly road schemes we would begin to cut congestion.

Daniel Munday, 45, chartered surveyor, Bucks The government should set up initiatives to encourage part-time working from home.

Chris Bennion, design manager, Adlington Controls must be put in place to manage congestion on the highway, but a great deal of work needs to be done via education.

Motorists must be made to realise that while they feel that they have a more right to be on the road than anyone else, all journeys and the options for each journey should be considered carefully.

Peter Hookham, 44, traffic engineer, Devon Ban parents from driving their children to school. If that means they have to go to a nearer school, so be it. Encouraging working from home one day a week would also assist. The simple measures not being implemented by the Highways Agency would have minimal effect anyway. Reducing the number of car journeys would be more effective than the impossible task of continually increasing road capacity.

James McLeod, 32, senior engineer, Dumfries Some countries have a system where only vehicles with even registration numbers are allowed on the roads one day, followed the next by only those with odd registration numbers. That would soon encourage car sharing.

Richard Altoft, 54, managing director, North Lincolnshire I think it is time the government woke up and realised that no matter how bad the traffic gets we British will continue to use our cars. We like our independence and our personal space and public transport is a long way from attracting us out of our cars. To educate the public on facts such as accident ratios may be a starter but I think the government is in a lose-lose scenario.

Chris Reid 31, project manager, Glasgow Link in-car satellite navigation systems with Highways Agency and Police control centres so cars are directed away from hold-ups.

John Brownlie, 56, project director, Shrewsbury Although I have the perfect answer, I cannot divulge it as I have recently learned that trunk road matters are no concern of local authority roads engineers. Pity.

Andrew Fraser, 54, municipal engineer, Stirling

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