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Call for motorway system expansion

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Managing the future growth of the nation's road traffic can not be achieved solely by allowing cars to use the hard shoulder on motorways, a charity as said.

The RAC Foundation is calling for the development of the UK's motorway network, arguing that concentrating all road improvements on widening existing motorways and introducing hard-shoulder running is "problematic".

An RAC Foundation report, released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first stretch of motorway in the UK, said existing junctions and access roads were unlikely to be able to cope with increased traffic volumes.

The report said traffic on motorways had grown much faster than the rate of new-road building and this had led to the congestion now experienced.

It gave a number of reasons why the motorway network should be developed, including that motorways have lower accident rates than other roads and that they are generally further away from residential and commercial developments.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "To plan effectively for future roads we must learn from our past failures. We need a better understanding of who is using the network and why, and how our infrastructure in the UK measures up to our European counterparts."

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