Less traffic as crunch bites

MOTORISTS in Suffolk are experiencing an unexpected benefit of the credit crunch with journey times down as people spend less on fuel, it emerged today.

MOTORISTS in Suffolk are experiencing an unexpected benefit of the credit crunch with journey times down as people spend less on fuel, it emerged today.

Despite house prices falling, fuel bills rising and recession looming it appears something good may have come out of the current economic situation.

According to a study by the RAC Foundation and the traffic information company Trafficmaster, people are cutting down their motoring spending, with the effect of reducing congestion and making journey times quicker.

Across the UK average journey time fell by 0.3 per cent over the past year with times improving on the westbound A14 stretch between Ipswich and Cambridge by 5.5 pc.

The report reveals that the journey time for the route in 2007 was an average 55 minutes compared to 52 minutes this year.

Georgina Read, of Trafficmaster, said: "Our traffic monitoring network shows the start of a change in driving patterns and behaviour over the past six to 12 months.

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“One obvious explanation for this is that rising fuel prices and general economic concerns are making people think carefully about how they drive."

The report found congestion on Britain's motorways and major trunk roads fell by 12 pc in the first six months of this year compared with the first half of 2007.

The route with the most dramatic decrease in congestion was the M25 northern sector between junctions 21 and 31, with a 26 pc reduction in traffic jams over the 12-month period to June 2008 compared to the same period the year before.

The M6 around the West Midlands also saw a large decrease in congestion, down 20 pc on the same period last year.

Are you driving less because of the credit crunch? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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