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Lack of joined up thinking hampers 10 year plan

TRANSPORT MINISTERS are undermining the 10 year transport plan by failing to co-ordinate road building plans with traffic restriction measures, a senior academic and government adviser warned last week.

Meeting targets to cut road traffic by 20% could be easier and less disruptive than is currently thought, said University College London transport policy professor Phil Goodwin.

He said some local initiatives had already matched or exceeded this target.

The failure of these initiatives to impact on wider traffic patterns is due to haphazard introduction, which sees displaced traffic replaced by new in a 'churn' effect, said Goodwin, who also advises the Commons transport subcommittee.

'We are underestimating the contribution of a coherent package over a wide area, but are overestimating the effects of implementing a set of uncoordinated, separate, initiatives, ' said Goodwin, speaking at a Transport Planning Society meeting at the Institution of Civil Engineers on Monday.

'It is not technically possible to build enough roads to keep pace with unrestricted traffic levels, ' he said.

He also urged the government to offer more visible support to congestion charging.

'The government needs to stop being coy about its longer term plans for congestion charging.

'It will not reach its target of 20 cities by 2010 unless it gives stronger support.'

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