Yet more motorways to fill with traffic jams, no doubt

Yet more motorways to fill with traffic jams, no doubt

Originally posted by Peter Inson at 11:44, April 5 2013

A recent allegation in a letter to The Times that Ernest Marples, a Tory transport minister in the 1950s who launched motorway building in this country, had a large vested interest in roads was followed next day by a report of a £1bn plan to put Britain on the road to recovery by building yet more motorways. Given the recent degree of concern about the trustworthiness of politicians, it is clearly a matter of public interest that reassurances are given that there is no prospect of such impropriety behind this proposal.

Road transport and its related industries and services have long had far more companies and organisations to lobby on its behalf against the rail lobby. Before further vast sums come their way, we should examine other uses for public resources and fill in more gaps in what was a network on which travel was possible to many parts of the country. Two examples come readily to mind: the line eastwards from Stanstead Airport, which could again serve north and east Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, and the abandoned Great Central Railway north of Aylesbury, built to European Loading gauge to reach the Continent via a Channel Tunnel that was begun at the end of the Victorian era.

It is a sad reflection on our scandalous short-sightedness that several of the destinations on the latter are now proposed as destinations for the HS2.

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