The average motorist in Reading is being unnecessarily stuck in traffic because of congestion in our town, local Liberal Democrats have said.
This follows a report by the Local Government Association – ‘A country in a jam: tackling congestion in our towns and cities’ – which reveals the extent of the country’s congestion crisis.
The LGA said councils need the same sort of long term funding certainty for local roads maintenance that is enjoyed by Highways England and Network Rail. This is desperately needed to help councils tackle the £12 billion national roads repair backlog and congestion they face on local roads.
Bus travel also needs to be actively encouraged. The Government needs to fully fund the concessionary fares scheme and give councils control over the Bus Service Operators’ Grant.
Councils, outside London, also need powers to enforce moving traffic offences so they can target notoriously congested junctions or stretches of road where safety concerns have been raised.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Reading Borough Council, Cllr Ricky Duveen said:
“Congestion at places like Cemetery Junction and Caversham Road can have a significant impact on our town and act as a drag on local growth. Worse still, it leads to toxic air and reduced quality of life.
“Councils need long-term consistent funding to invest in local roads and need greater powers to solve the problem and promote attractive alternatives to car journeys, such as through public transport, walking and cycling.
“This will help those that need to use the roads as well as those that have to live with the consequences of congestion.”