A14 plans would just not deal with causes of congestion
REGARDING the article (The way ahead) in your June 20.
Eleven options have been put forward by the Department for Transport, six involve the widening and/or re-routing of the existing road, three focus on improving public transport and two explore how freight can be moved onto the railways.
Looking at the six alternatives being put forward for the widening and/or re-routing of the existing road, they all appear to be variations of schemes that have been previously suggested with some almost as expensive as the one that was cancelled because of cost in 2010. The big disappointments are: there being no mention of anything being done to deal with the causes of the congestion and the suggestion of some road tolling that has previously been shown not to work very well in the UK.
Whilst appreciating that something needs to be done to solve the congestion, any money spent will be a waste unless a concerted effort is firstly made to try to eradicate or at least much reduce the causes. If this is not done, whatever scheme is adopted, we will just be back in the same position in another 15-20 years time.
The main causes being: the far too many accidents and breakdowns blocking the carriageway, the increase in numbers of HVGs using our roads and the ever increasing population in the UK mainly due to the lack of any immigration control.
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Regarding accidents and breakdowns that cause the carriageway to be blocked, those responsible must be made more accountable for the cost and inconvenience suffered by others. This could be done by imposing far heftier fines (loss of licence in serious cases) and the recovery of costs through their motor insurance. When those that are inconsiderate or lacking driving skills find that they are uninsurable, perhaps they will take notice.
As for the long distance movement of freight, as much as possible must be transferred on to our railways, with only local distribution being undertaken by road. As stated in other reports, it appears rather outdated moving so much long distance freight in individual loads by numerous HGVs, especially freight that is containerised, when 40-50 times or even more could be transported by a single train.
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At present the net migration into the UK is around 250,000 per year. This has been the position for a number of years now and presently shows no sign of slowing down. Over the next decade it has been widely predicted that the UK will have the greatest increase in population of any EU country. This just cannot be allowed to happen. Not only is this adding to our road congestion but much of our other infrastructure just cannot cope. If leaving the EU is the only way of remedying this problem then so be it.
Until measures are taken to much reduce the causes of the congestion on the A14, the only things that should to be done, other than the improvements presently sanctioned, are to dual the remaining section of the A428 through to the A1 at Wyboston Lakes as an alternative route and carry out improvements to public transport and our rail freight facilities.