Letter: Transport gridlock: political chicanery, CrossRail, the American way

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The Independent Online
Sir: Christian Wolmar is right to call for a 'deliberate strategy, with aims and targets' for discouraging car use in cities. But thinking in this country tends to focus on road pricing - discouraging car use by making it expensive. But the two methods of doing so - motorway tolls and urban congestion charges - both have disadvantages. The former is opposed by many users of motorways; and the latter would be inegalitarian, pricing off the less well-off motorists but allowing the 'fat cats' to roll into cities in peak hours, one per car.

In some US cities, a 'transportation demand management' (TDM) strategy has been developed that does not rely on the price mechanism. It is based instead on developing 'park and ride' facilities and on measures to encourage 'ride sharing' (including reserving parking space for car and minibus pools at places of employment and reserving lanes on radial motorways in peak hours for high occupancy vehicles).

Dare one hope that the new Director of the Government Office for London will consider TDM?

Yours faithfully,

NIGEL SEYMER

Sway, Hampshire

15 June

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