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Tougher driving test 'may cut jams'

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A stricter driving test and more use of real-time traffic information could help to reduce traffic jams, a group of MPs has claimed.

The Transport Committee examined ways in which congestion could be reduced without the need for new roads or tolls.

Among the suggestions made in their report, Out Of The Jam: Reducing Congestion On Our Roads, was ways to keep drivers up to date with changes to the Highway Code.

A better understanding and adherence to the Code would help to improve driver behaviour and the safety of the UK's roads overall, the MPs said.

The Highway Code contains rules and information on using the country's roads such as road signs, markings and general safety. It also contains information on vehicle maintenance, licences, car insurance requirements and vehicle security.

The committee also called for a greater use of "intelligent traffic management systems" to warn drivers of impending jams.

Louise Ellman, committee chair, said: "Improving the way we manage road space so that the network runs more smoothly is vital to the prosperity of the nation. Pursuing this challenge should form a key plank of central government transport policy."

Earlier research has forecast that congestion could cost the UK economy an extra £22 billion a year by 2025.

© Press Association 2011