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'Key roads must be improved' M25 jams harm economy

A new report says congestion on the M25 is so bad the region's economy is at risk and urgent action must be taken.

The report by Highways England found the stretch of motorway between the A3 in Surrey and the M40 in Buckinghamshire had the worst traffic in Europe with more than 220 thousands vehicles using it every single day.

In a highly controversial move it says key roads in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Hampshire should be improved to cope with the growing problem.

This report is from our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse.

Government responds to M25's 12 hour-long rush hour: 'We are investing £15bn on upgrading roads'

The rush hour can last a long time on the M25

A new report commissioned for the Government has found that the 'rush hour' for drivers using the M25 can actually last from 6am to 6pm.

The finding is a surprising one to many, but some transport campaigners say that people who use the M25 already know that there is a lot of traffic on the route.

The Department for Transport says that it is spending a lot of money on improving the south's major routes.

“We are investing £15 billion up to 2020 delivering upgrades to motorways and major A-roads.

“We continue to work on ways to cut congestion and improve journey times on the M25, connecting people with jobs, leisure and culture venues in the area – and providing an important boost to the UK economy.”

– Spokesperson for the Department for Transport

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Transport campaigners welcome M25 rush hour report

The M25 rush hour is the subject of a new study

Campaigners working for the improvement of our road networks in sustainable way have welcomed a new report about travelling on the M25, and other routes in the region.

“We welcome the recognition that we cannot simply build our way out of congestion. The M25 study is right to focus on improving capacity on the existing network through moving to more sustainable modes. That makes sense for the environment and the taxpayer too.

“Those measures should be implemented in full before any new roads are planned. New roads create more traffic, and it is wrong to sacrifice precious countryside for more tarmac when positive alternatives are available.”

– Bridget Fox, Sustainable Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport

Flights to Paris cancelled & diverted after shooting

Police at Paris Orly Airport Credit: AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu

Anyone flying to Paris in France today is being advised to check before travelling. Flights have been suspended at Paris Orly Airport after a man who tried to seize a soldier's gun there was shot dead by police.

Flights between Southampton Airport and Paris Orly Airport have been suspended. A spokesperson said that one inbound flight heading to the UK has been delayed.

Some British Airways flights from Heathrow Airport to Paris Orly Airport have also been cancelled.

A number of flights from various airports have been redirected to Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. Do check before you travel.

"We are doing all we can to assist our customers while the airport authorities at Paris Orly prepare for the airport to re-open. ​

The safety and security of our customers and colleagues is always our priority."

– British Airways spokesperson

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Train drivers reject deal in Southern rail strikes row

The train drivers' union ASLEF has tonight rejected a deal aimed at resolving the long-running dispute over driver-only trains on Southern Rail.

It was thought that the majority of members would agree to the deal - but in a shock move - drivers decided by 54 to 46% NOT to accept the recommendation.

It's only the second time in ASLEF's history that drivers have gone against their union's recommendation. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse sends this from East Grinstead station....

ASLEF train drivers reject Southern deal - Rail boss says: 'Naturally we're saddened'

More industrial action to come in the dispute on Southern trains

The head of Govia Thameslink Railway - Southern's parent company, has given his reaction to the decision of ASLEF union members to reject a deal in the ongoing dispute about driver-only trains.

“Naturally we’re saddened and hugely disappointed, as will be our passengers, with today’s decision by drivers, particularly as the agreement carried the full support and recommendation of the ASLEF leadership. We now need to understand the issues which led to this outcome and we’ll be seeking to meet with the union as soon as possible to see how we can agree a way forward.”

– Nick Brown, Chief Operating Officer of Govia Thameslink Railway, Southern’s parent company
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