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Easing congestion on the roads

Eddie Mair | 12:44 UK time, Tuesday, 4 March 2008

will also be on our minds tonight. Our political correspondent James Hardy has just filed this copy:

"The Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly has announced new measures designed to ease traffic congestion in busy cities and on motorways.

She's says what's needed are immediate practical steps to ease congestion - and that means primarily using tried and tested methods.

Among them will be extending the M42 experiment, where traffic uses the hard shoulder, on to parts of the M6 and M1. In these zones, the current speed limit of 50 could be raised to 60 if the higher speed can be shown to be safe.

Another option under consideration is to charge drivers without passengers for using the extra lane.

Cities will be encouraged to follow London's lead by looking at congestion charging and improvements to bus services.

But Ms Kelly also admitted that for the time being both the technology and the public support were lacking for a wider system of levying charges on every driver per mile driven. That suggestion provoked 1.8 million people to sign a protest petition on the Downing Street website."

The BBC News Online story is here.


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