Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Monday 19 March 2012

Road Transport Policy

The Government are to look at plans to improve road infrastructure that may lead to the introduction of private tolls. Key to the report are the present high levels of congestion becoming worse in the future, the spiralling cost of maintenance and the need to find a practical alternative to fossil fuels. The last part is my addition but it needs to be taken into consideration in any review of transport policy.
Clearly the Government haven't read my book 'The Lamb at Nettlesham' where a solid strategy for the future of road transport is laid out. It requires the Government to give twenty years notice to the motor manufacturers that the use of 'freewheeling' vehicles in the country will cease and that from that time all vehicles will operate along electronic tracks.
Here are the key points:-

1. Roads will be converted to multitrack highways with the number of electric tracks determined by the size of the present highway. Motorways for instance could have as many as two dozen high speed tracks.
2. Cars will be replaced by 'pods', built to various specifications as now. (Since people will not be driving, drinking is permitted and bars could be fitted as standard).
3. Customers will join the network at a local hub (Running on a low power electric engine). Punch in the postcode of their destination and sit back to be taken automatically to their destination. Speeds will be commensurate with the roads used, reaching over 200mph on 'motorways'.
4. Costs will be on a per mile travelled basis.
5. The network would be built and maintained by the motor manufacturers as a condition of their license to build pods.
6. Some parts of the remote UK, for instance the extreme north of Scotland, the use 'freewheeling' electric cars will be allowed, creating a much needed 'motoring' tourism for those who would still like to steer their own course.

There is much more to the programme, but some of the advantages, apart from those addressing the main questions, are easily observed.
There is no speeding. Safety controls will allow vehicles to proceed at optimum speed with enhanced collision avoidance systems. In the event of an accident, all pods using the road will automatically be rerouted by the system.
Reduced policing costs. Stolen pods for instance will be automatically routed to the nearest police station.
No road blocks. The system will take the customer along the quickest available route.
The whole is driven by electricity. There will be no need for oil products. Service stations can be accessed for refreshment as before but there will be no need to refuel.
I'm sure you can think of many more.

Freight would be taken along converted railway lines.

Apart from the benefits of easier travel, UK companies and therefore the UK could benefit from being at the forefront of the technology which could be wheeled out globally, adding to the Country's exports.

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