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Quick fixes mask underlying transport capacity shortage

I wonder whether as engineers, we have convinced the public & politicians of the importance of having some spare capacity in our infrastructure?

Politicians who want a 'quick fix' to problems of congestion on our roads are told that smart navigation devices enable drivers to avoid congested spots, but anyone who lives anywhere near a busy road will know that if it is closed for any reason, then all alternative routes quickly get clogged up.

One of the reasons why the CTRL (High Speed 1) is such a good idea is the increased high quality capacity it provides, not just a few minutes saved in journey time.

There is insufficient spare capacity in much of our infrastructure, because demand has outstripped supply. Road pricing, however unpopular, is almost certainly necessary because road building is seen as unpopular.

Politicians have to be given good advice, and will blame us if we do not do so.

ALISTAIR J MUIR, alistair.muir@blueyonder.co.uk

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