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A cost-ineffective means of addressing road traffic growth

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Forecasts of road traffic in England to 2040 (DfT)

Forecasts of road traffic in England to 2040 (DfT)

The Department for Transport’s Road Transport Forecasts 2013 includes results from the National Transport Model (NTM) for traffic demand, congestion, and emissions in England up to 2040.

The NTM projects that traffic will be sluggish up to 2015 in line with projected low GDP growth and high fuel costs. As England then moves out of the recession and rapid fuel efficiency improvements significantly decreasing the fuel cost of driving, traffic is expected to rise by 19% from 2015 to 2025. As the rate of improvements in vehicle fuel efficiencies declines after 2025 we observe a slower growth in traffic. The central forecast from 2010-2040 projects traffic to grow by 41% for Non-SRN roads, 46% for SRN and an average of 43% for all roads.

According to Road Transport Forecasts 2013, the road-to-rail shift arising from the £50 billion HS2 project would be equivalent to 0.9% of long distance inter-zonal car trips in 2037.

This 0.9% is equivalent to one year’s traffic growth and highlights that the impact of HS2 does not affect the key facts and conclusion of this document.

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Written by beleben

December 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

3 Responses

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  1. Rail accounts for 3% of passenger journeys, or for 7.5% of passenger-miles. Mostly they are to places cars cannot easily reach. Road transport serves the rest. Cars serve journeys that are nearly impossible to serve by bus let alone the train. Hence the idea that boosting public transport can significantly reduce congestion is impossible to sustain in a discussion devoted to finding the truth, see our evidence to the Transport Committee’s inquiry into Transport and the economy available at topic 18, item 6 here http://www.transport-watch.co.uk/sites/default/files/TRANSPORT%20AND%20THE%20ECONOMY%2004doc_2.pdf
    Congestion is usually caused by lack of junction capacity, easily relieved in rural areas particularly at roundabouts where adding a lane to the approach may match the junction capacity to the link capacity.
    As things stand politically correct one way systems, deliberately restricted junction capacity, banned turns, and the like have created congestion where none need exist. We calculate that if those measures have added two minutes to the average journey time then the cost to the nation is £13bn. Similarly, slowing us all down by 5 mph would lead to delay valued at £17bn, compared with causally savings of only £3bn. For detail at transport Watch topic 9 here http://www.transport-watch.co.uk/9-traffic-management-and-its-costs-versus-casualty-savings .

  2. […] HS2 never was an environmental project. Although the government’s PR hype may have given Mr Spiers the impression that HS2 promised to ‘make rail the long distance travel mode of choice’ and an ‘alternative to new roads and runways’, the facts have always been clear: HS2 is a carbon intensive project, which would inflict massive damage on the rural environment — and on the built environment (especially in London). HS2′s effect on private car and lorry mileage could never be anything other than insignificant. […]

  3. […] aware of the useful reference to HS2 in the DfT report Road Transport Forecasts 2013 by the Beleben blog A cost-ineffective means of addressing road traffic […]


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