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Tougher L-test could be jam-buster

A tougher driving test and more use of real-time traffic information could help curb road congestion, according to MPs.

The Transport Committee looked at ways to reduce congestion without road building or road pricing.

Among its recommendations were suggestions about how to keep motorists up to date with changes to the Highway Code.

Launching its report, Out Of The Jam: Reducing Congestion On Our Roads, committee chairwoman Louise Ellman said: "Congestion costs the economy billions of pounds each year.

"Improving the way we manage road space so that the network runs more smoothly is vital to the prosperity of the nation. Pursuing this challenge should form a key plank of central government transport policy."

Evidence cited by a previous inquiry found congestion would cost the UK economy an extra £22 billion a year by 2025, she said.

Ms Ellman said more must be done to improve driver behaviour and road safety through better understanding and adherence to the Highway Code.

She also called for more clarification from ministers about who is responsible for warning road users about impending congestion, and said there should be greater user of "intelligent traffic management systems" across local authority boundaries..

A free Highway Code mobile phone application could be one option for improving standards, MPs said.

Changes to the code could also be included in a leaflet when drivers apply to renew their licence or tax disc, they said.

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