New spending needed on A12

SUFFOLK'S main road to London needs millions of pounds of investment if it is not to grind to a halt, the RAC warned today.The A12 from Ipswich to the capital was named as one of the worst roads in the country in a new report by the RAC Foundation.

SUFFOLK'S main road to London needs millions of pounds of investment if it is not to grind to a halt, the RAC warned today.

The A12 from Ipswich to the capital was named as one of the worst roads in the country in a new report by the RAC Foundation.

It called for millions to be spend easing bottlenecks and ensuring traffic does not grind to a halt as it does on the M25 around London.

RAC Foundation director Edmund King could not give exact examples of where work needed to be undertaken - but said the A12 suffered from “piecemeal” improvements over the years.

“That means that in some places there are three or even four lanes and the traffic can flow reasonably freely.

“In other places there are only two lanes with junctions and congestion is a very serious issue.”

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Mr King said this was a problem faced by many roads which had never had an overall strategy for improvements.

“It's just been a case of building a by-pass here or there and then joining up the road between them. There is no real strategic thinking on the road,” he said.

Another road singled out as inadequate by the RAC Foundation was the A14 from Cambridge to Huntingdon - the main route for traffic heading out of East Anglia to the midlands and north.

“That road is simply inadequate for the volume of traffic it carries,” Mr King said.

The report, Roads And Reality, said new road capacity is essential whether or not national road pricing goes ahead.

It added that building an extra 372 lane miles of road would "yield substantial benefits in journey times and reliability".

The figure is the equivalent of building one extra lane of 372 miles in length.

The report added that road pricing without road building will just drive poorer people off the roads.

It also said that by 2041, car ownership will be 44per cent higher and car traffic will increase by 37pc.

At present, road users are "the only energy users currently paying the full cost of their carbon emissions'', the report added.

It also said that cars would continue to get greener and cleaner towards 2050.

The Campaign for Better Transport - formerly Transport 2000 - campaigns for better public transport and said the public did not support the RAC Foundation's findings.

It sponsored a YouGov Poll which showed that only 30pc of people wanted millions to be spent on roads and 62 pc wanted more spent on public transport.

Rebecca Lush Blum, Campaign for Better Transport's roads and climate campaigner said: “The RAC Foundation seems to be living on a different planet from the rest of us.

“With road transport emissions rising each year, the Government needs to heed the call of the public and reduce emissions by investing in public transport.”

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