How Autocar writers would fix Britain’s roads and transport

It’s hardly an enviable position, but Britain’s transport minister has the power to improve commutes, reduce the rate of traffic fatalities, streamline public transport and reduce emissions. 

With our road network pockmarked by potholes, a nationwide upgrade to smart motorways causing lengthy tailbacks and a confused political position preventing a smooth shift to electrification, we ask: what would we do with the authority?

Here’s what the Autocar writers would do if they were put in the hot seat for the day:

Matt Prior

Approve a massive transport infrastructure project, making the UK the easiest country in the world to travel around. Approve every bypass currently under consideration. 

Commission a new national airport, in the middle of Oxfordshire – an hour from London, an hour from Birmingham, between the M1 and M40, with a new motorway link between the two, which then heads due west into Wales and due east into East Anglia. Modify HS2 to fit it. Make a straight motorway link to the M40 from the M6, to the west of Birmingham, and then from M40 to the south coast. 

Steve Cropley 

The likelihood of my becoming a politician is thankfully slight, but were I to become transport minister, I’d have the Highways Agency form an elite research group tasked with searching the roads network for unwanted anomalies that impede traffic, increasing costs and pollution. 

The group – called Free Roads Observation Group (FROG) – would comprise members chosen for driving knowledge, experience and common sense. The task would be to spot places where signage is misleading or obscured, speed limits are inappropriate, traffic-light regimes cause needless hold-ups and where daft local authority decisions have created unintended difficulties. Private citizens would be encouraged to bring their own experience to FROG’s attention via a website and phone number. 

FROG’s observations would be listened to and their recommendations discussed at implementation level. If their findings were not acted on, as transport minister I would want to know the reason why.

Leave a Reply