Skinny roads aren't a congestion solution: RACQ

RACQ has dismissed a plan to reduce lane widths on highways and motorways in a bid to encourage Australians to buy smaller cars and squeeze more vehicles onto the road.

News.com.au reported Grattan Institute had pushed for roads with multiple lanes to be reduced in width, to allow an extra lane to created and used by smaller cars and motorcycles.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said while there were some situations where roadways could be narrowed, it was not a blanket solution to solve congestion.

“It’s an overly simplistic view to a complex problem and this infrastructure would come at a huge cost with relatively short-term benefits,” Dr Michael said.

“We have seen this measure used in slow-speed and shared pedestrian environments but there are many factors to be considered.

“We need to be mindful that it’s not just cars that use the road. They also need to accommodate buses, heavy vehicles and allow room for cyclists.

“Making lanes smaller could be a significant safety concern, particularly for our more vulnerable road users.”

Dr Michael said it was not realistic for smaller cars to meet all Australians needs.

“People purchase cars based on their family size, what they do for a living and what they can afford to own and maintain,” she said.

“They don’t tend to think about issues like congestion and how their vehicle size may contribute to the broader problem.”