Do New Roads Work?

The end of the road? Challenging the road-building consensus

This CPRE report reveals that road-building is failing to provide the congestion relief and economic boost promised, while devastating the environment. It directly challenges government claims that ‘the economic gains from road investment are beyond doubt’; that road-building will lead to ‘mile a minute’ journeys; and that the impact on the environment will be limited ‘as far as possible’. The report shows how road building over the past two decades has repeatedly failed to live up to similar aims.

The report is based on a study commissioned by CPRE and carried out by consultants Transport for Quality of Life (TfQL), which examined 86 official studies of completed road schemes.

TheZendZofZtheZroad  Full Report (March 2017)

Beyond Transport Infrastructure

This is a joint report produced by the Countryside Agency and CPRE in 2006, examining what happens to traffic levels on new road schemes.

Beyond_Transport_Infrastructure___summary_report  Summary Report (July 2006)

Beyond_Transport_Infrastructure___full_report  Full Report (July 2006)

After the publication of this report, new traffic figures became available and consequently a supplementary report was published looking at the A34 Newbury bypass again in light of the new data:

Supplementary_report – an analysis of the A34 Newbury bypass (August 2006)


The most famous transport report is the 1994 Standing Advisory’s Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA), which despite its age is still relevant when considering new road building.

Trunks Roads and the Generation of Traffic