TRANSPORT: Traffic increase puts more pressure on motorways

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The Independent Online
Britain's packed motorways are growing ever more busy, according to Government figures released yesterday.

Motorway traffic grew 3.9 per cent last year and these roads are now carrying more vehicles than other trunk routes, even though they make up only a quarter of the trunk road system. The Department of Transport statistics for 1996 also showed that overall motor traffic increased by 2.7 per cent

Towards the end of their term in office, the Conservatives were moving away from the idea of building more roads to cope with traffic growth. Instead, they were concentrating more on schemes to make better use of existing highways, including many widening schemes, and trying to encourage more use of public transport.

The new Government is committed to an even more vigorous policy of "greening up" transport and promoting alternatives to the car.