LETTERS : Road building programmes: reforms, respect, restraint and a n ew report

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The Independent Online
From Ms Joan Walley, MP Sir: The publication the report by the Department of Transport's Advisory Committee is the latest in a number of reports that have struck at the very heart of this Government's dependence on a roads programme which has been costing the British taxpayer billions of pounds per year.

By using a rigid assessment formula, rigged in favour of road building at the expense of other transport modes, the Government has been able to justify a fundamentally flawed new roads and motorway widening policy. Britain urgently needs a transport system that merges planning and transport policy, and which directs investment towards relieving traffic congestion rather than increasing it. The Secretary of State for Transport, Dr Brian Mawhinney, must now respond to this report with a full and far reaching review of all roads which are not yet under contract for construction.

Only when public transport and all traffic modes are evaluated on a equal footing can we have transport investment which will enhance the economy and ensure environmental sustainability.

Yours sincerely, JOAN WALLEY MP for Stoke-on-Trent North House of Commons London, SW1

The writer is Shadow Minister for Transport.