As far as I can see, all the most recent laws with regards to traffic management are centered on the SYMPTOMS of the problem and not the root cause.
Has anyone actually been bothered to find out WHY each motorist is making each particular journey ?
I don't know about you, but it has been over two decades since I last went for a "pleasure" drive, knowing that given the current traffic conditions pleasure would be the last thing I am likely to experience.
Could it be that the majority of motorists are not there for pleasure, but have a real need to get to where they are going, a need that does not go away because of increased costs and are impractical on public transport?
Commuting (people need jobs and the varied locations make public transport impractical, we don't all work in great big factories anymore that were once easily seriviced through public transport)
Education (getting to/from school/college/university)
Health (how else do you see YOUR doctor since few doctors now make house calls? those that do, provide sub-standard care via some outcall doctor you have never met before, who has no knowledge of you or your health history, and yet is expected to make a competent decision)
Dietary (we all need to eat and thus go shopping)
If this is the case then surely the answer it to IGNORE the quantities of traffic and do something to split up, or relocate the destinations to places more suitable.
As an example, if it is found that most problems in a given area are as a result of commuting, then surely the solution is to raise business taxes in that area to encourage businesses to relocate to an area better suited to the quantity and timing of traffic, or in easier places to reach by their employees via public transport.
Given today's technologically advanced society, I find it difficult to understand why businesses are not more "mobile".
There is to my mind, no need for over 50% of the businesses in London to actually BE in London, save for the "prestige". So what if historically the "financial heart" of the country was London, it is clear that given the current infrastructure this unsustainable.
The same holds true for most if not all of our cities.
Furthermore past governments have happily in the name of "cost savings" centralised resources, such as doctors, hospitals, and ever more consolidation of schools. This is counter productive, creating "hot spot" destinations, around which gridlock is all but guaranteed.
It may have been cheaper for the government, but not for the country as a whole.
In fact were a comprehensive study to take place I would anticipate the the costs in time lost, fuel wasted, and CO2 emissions generated (not an exhaustive list, just the most obvious ones) would dwarf that reportedly "saved" by the government.
Local councils do not help matters either. Permitting single family dwellings with one parking space to be converted into a multi occupancy dwellings without regard to the availability of local services, parking or local traffic conditions is obscene.
One parking space – once car – one family – one dwelling – no subdivision – simple!
More jobs than dwellings ? Make the businesses move to where both people and dwellings are available.
Make businesses and services move to the people, and you will have far less people traveling to them.
In short, addressing the SYMPTOMS of traffic problems is incredibly myopic, and it is imperative that any "fix" be targeted at the CAUSE.
The CAUSE being bad planning and even worse implementations.
Why does this idea matter?
We are far too focused on the most obvious symptoms of traffic problems.
We need to "see the big picture" and DO something about the cause, rather than addressing the symptoms.
We don't need "toll roads" or "congestion charges" and the expensive IT systems they entail, which only target the symptoms and disproportionately disadvantage those on lower incomes.
WE NEED A CURE NOT A RIP OFF BRITAIN BAND-AID.