by Gabriel Roth
Institute of Economic Affairs
June 18, 2013
Transport policies which favor rail over road make little economic sense. Investment in roads typically yields higher financial and social returns than investment in rail. As a result of current policies, Britain’s roads are the most crowded in Europe. Congestion is estimated to impose costs of around £20 billion a year in the UK. The basic problem is that roads are outside the market economy. Road users do not receive the facilities they are prepared to pay for. A shortage of road space does not encourage suppliers to provide additional capacity because investment in roads is constrained by government policy.

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