|London, 1 May 2001.
For immediate release.
Following the ridiculous call by the Highways Agency for drivers to stay off the M25 during rush hours, the Association of British Drivers calls for more positive action to be taken.
For years, billions have been collected in motoring taxes whilst both roads and railways fall into disrepair or become hopelessly congested.
Now, all Prescott can propose are negative measures to punish drivers for this transport shambles by obstructing and taxing them off the roads.
Its time for a sea change - enter POLO, the Proposed Outer London Orbital
A glance at a map shows that the M25 is the only transport route that orbits London. The total lack of viable alternatives effectively forces all transport that doesn't originate in Central London - Channel Tunnel, airport, commuter and local - onto the M25.
The ABD therefore proposes the construction of an integrated transport route some twenty miles further out from London than the M25.
The Proposed Outer London Orbital would run from the port of Harwich, head west to Stansted Airport and the M11, cross the A1(M) and continue to Luton Airport and the M1. The route would then run along the southern side of the Chiltern Hills, with appropriate tunnelling to minimize impact. It would cross the M40, and connect with the existing A329(M) at Reading via a much needed new bridge over the Thames. The A329(M) would be upgraded to three lanes and become part of the POLO. The new motorway would then head south-east, cross the M3, pass just north of Guildford and then head east to Gatwick Airport and the M23. It would continue past Tunbridge Wells to join the M20 near the Channel Tunnel terminal.
This much needed route would comprise a three lane motorway running in parallel with a twin track railway capable of taking channel tunnel lorry trains.
Parkway stations directly accessible from the Motorway should be constructed where the motorway crosses major rail lines into London. These would have combined service areas for road and rail passengers, and ample free parking spaces to facilitate easy transfer between car and rail.
Express train services from these stations would help to alleviate congestion in the capital.
The POLO would allow express bus services to be set up connecting the towns, airports and stations along the route.
At present any such routes involve lengthy diversions or slow journeys along inadequate roads.
It would also connect with the National Cycle Network providing safe, fully separated cycling routes to the stations.
By providing a high quality route connecting all arterial motorways & rail lines into London, with major ports and Airports, this proposal would provide a truly integrated transport system for the whole of the South East.
The POLO would serve as a contingency route for the M25 and act as a better route for longer distance traffic. The reduction in congestion west of London would allow traffic heading from one side of London to the other, to use the POLO in preference to the Dartford crossing, thus alleviating congestion there, too.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
"Telling people not to use the M25 beggars belief, and making it wider is a second rate sticking plaster solution. London needs more than one decent road going around it. It is absurd that we are in the situation where one accident can bring much of the South East to a standstill."