London, 17 January 2005.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

ABD Condemns New Anti Roads Umbrella Group
"Bad for Safety, Bad for Communities, Bad for Britain"
The ABD today strongly condemned a new pressure group called Road Block, which has been set up as an umbrella organisation to co-ordinate anti road campaigners' efforts.
During the 1990's, anti roads campaigners brought a complete end to the building and upgrading of roads in Britain. Through skilful lobbying and PR, they managed to convince both main political parties to adopt a rigorously anti car stance — a position which turned out to be undeliverable in practice.
"This was a disaster for Britain," said the ABD's Nigel Humphries. "For ten years nothing happened except arguments -Britains transport infrastructure fell further behind other countries whilst councils focussed on making drivers unwelcome in a hundred different ways, ranging from reduced parking to traffic calming. Nothing was allowed that made life better for motorists." This negative policy resulted in: The increased congestion that resulted from no projects being started for ten years was then used to blame motorists for using their cars too much, and hence to justify measures to actually make the roads worse on the basis that traffic would simply "disappear" if life were made unpleasant enough for drivers.
And disappear it did — onto the motorways and country roads as people moved out of the town centre for their living, work and leisure.
"All the roads protesters achieved was to make people more dependant on their cars by encouraging them to move to where the roads already existed, but public transport didn't," continued Humphries.
Now, sense has begun to prevail, and, finally, roadbuilding is back on the agenda (though there is a long way to go!).
"We must not let Road Block return us to the dark ages," concluded Humphries. "Britain has been strangled enough by these people. We need better facilities for everyone — drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, bus and rail passengers. And we need good planning to help people live nearer their places of work, and so reduce the demand on the transport system as a whole. Above all, we need an end to the nonsensical ideas of the anti roads lobby."


Notes for Editors