Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Traffic Regulations 'Are Harmful to Economy'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Traffic Regulations 'Are Harmful to Economy'

Article excerpt

Byline: Elizabeth Barrett Reporter

THE cumulative effect of traffic regulation measures "imposes an enormous burden on the UK economy", a report by a thinktank has suggested.

Research by the Institute of Economic Affairs found that just a twominute delay to every car journey equates to a loss of PS16bn a year.

The report, Seeing Red: Traffic Controls And The Economy, said: "Not only is a high proportion of traf-fic regulation detrimental to road safety, the economy and the environment, it also imposes huge costs on road-users, taxpayers and communities."

Using case studies from around Britain, in conjunction with evidence from successful schemes in the Netherlands and Germany, the report's authors estimate that approximately 80% of traffic lights could be ripped out in the UK.

It states: "Traffic signals could be taken out where they cause unnecessary delays, perhaps following Portishead-style trials where lights are switched off for several weeks to observe the impact. Successful schemes in Drachten in the Netherlands (2002) and Bohmte in Germany (2007) scrapped over 80% of their traffic lights. Together with the Portishead experiment, this suggests a broadly similar proportion of signals could be removed in the UK."

The report found that from 2000 to 2014, the number of traffic lights on Britain's roads increased by 25%. …

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