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March 11 , 2011

Gridlock Nation


Why do we spend so much time stuck in traffic? After Peak Oil, do we face the prospect of Peak Travel? Does climate change mean no more foreign holidays? In Victorian times, Britain used to have the finest transport system in the world. Today, the future seems to belong to China with its ever growing High Speed Rail networks or Dubai and its titanic new five runway airport. What went wrong? For the last hundred years, the planners at the centre of our transport system have told us what roads, railways or airports we can use. Now, to save the planet they tell us to give up our cars and planes. If we break away from the planners' control, we can have roads that run freely and trains that arrive on time. Climate change can be tackled without giving up air travel. Riding a train should be as reliable as picking up bread from your local shop. Gridlock Nation looks at the timeless problems faced in transport, from traffic jams in Rome to Victorian road rage. It examines the potential of dazzling innovations across the world, from the private sector space revolution to Google's new driverless cars. Britain needs a new revolution in transport - or gridlock will soon bring the country to a halt.
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