Road Traffic: Urban Areas

Department for Transport written question – answered on 8th December 2022.

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Photo of Tom Hunt Tom Hunt Conservative, Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department is taking steps to support local authorities in reducing traffic congestion in town centres.

Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The causes of congestion can be systemic, for example increasing population and urbanisation, or more localised, for example network pinch points, inadequate public transport or road works. Measures to combat congestion can be aimed at increasing capacity and / or decreasing demand.

Local traffic authorities have a statutory duty under the Traffic Management Act 2004 to manage their networks with the aim of ‘securing the expeditious movement of traffic’. The Department for Transport helps local authorities in achieving this by supporting sustainable alternative modes and providing design and other guidance as well as investment in infrastructure and innovative, data-led solutions.

The Government has already made record amounts of funding available to local authorities for investment in active travel schemes since the start of the pandemic. The second statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, published in July of this year, reiterated the Government’s commitment to this important agenda and set out the funding that is projected to be spent on it from 2020/21 to 2024/25.

The National Bus Strategy asked that all English Local Transport Authorities outside London publish Bus Service Improvement Plans, setting out local visions for the step-change in bus services that is needed, driven by what passengers and would-be passengers want. We have awarded over £1 billion to deliver service improvements, bus priority and ambitious fares initiatives.

The Government continues to invest in new technologies and the use of data to better manage road networks and provide accurate data about events such as congestion, to road users. For example, the department has invested several million pounds in creating ‘Street Manager’, a data platform which helps highway authorities and utility companies to plan and co-ordinate their road works.

Does this answer the above question?

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No2 people think not

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