Fury at guide to avoiding jams on M25

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The Independent Online
A map to help drivers evade the jams on Britain's busiest motorway was launched yesterday in London to fierce opposition from motoring organisations.

The M25, which on its busiest stretches can carry 200,000 cars a day, has long been a motorists' nightmare. The new congestion-busting guide will allow drivers to turn off at junctions as they see a jam looming and use the network of trunk roads to get back on at a less clogged section.

But Paul Watters, head of the Automobile Association roads and transport division, said: "The new guide will simply move congestion elsewhere, on to less suitable roads which are not designed to carry the level of traffic that the M25 holds.

"Accidents are more frequent on diversion routes, and it's often quicker to wait in a hold-up for a few minutes than to take a convoluted diversion."

Residents along one of the alternative routes also condemned the guide saying it would increase congestion and pollution on an already busy road.

The map was devised by Neil Atkinson, a former "communications manager", who claims that he spent more than his fair share of time stuck in traffic.

"I was looking for a foolproof way to avoid traffic jams. Road atlases were no good and traffic reports tell you where the problems are but, don't help you avoid them," Mr Atkinson said.

The 64-page guide covers all 30 junctions of the 119-mile orbital motorway. Now the company is looking at producing something similar to deal with Britain's second most congested stretch of motorway - the M6 near Birmingham.

"I can understand the AA's concern, but let me assure you that we use A-roads and dual-carriageways wherever possible," Mr Atkinson said. "There are many high-quality traffic news systems which tell you where the jams are but don't offer an alternative. The guide is the missing piece in the puzzle."

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