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Softer solution


NCE reports that the M42 hard shoulder trial has proved to be a winner with motorists (NCE last week). With travel still being dominated by single occupant vehicles it is no wonder!

But isn't this a cheaper version of 'predict and provide'? While it satises economic objectives, what about sustainability?

With car-sharing websites doing well in the UK shouldn't the infrastructure be complementing 'softer' measures?

In Fife we are developing proposals with the South East Scotland Regional Transport Partnership (SEStran) for high occupancy vehicle (HOV) priority measures on the approach to the Forth Road Bridge, using hard shoulder running and signal control of the main line/on-ramps.

With the serious problems facing the suspension cables, such measures will also help to manage the ow of trafc during the inevitable lane closures.

Sure, there are issues about enforcing HOV lanes, but these shouldn't stop the profession developing innovative solutions to deal with the continuous growth in car use. We must progress and implement them if we are to support the economy, minimise the impact of travel on the environment and ensure access for social needs.

Sadly, the M42 has missed this opportunity. Perhaps Scotland can now lead the way?

Alistair Clyne (M), Fife Council,

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