The Commons Transport Committee has announced an inquiry into government policy on the UK’s strategic road network.

The inquiry, for which it is currently inviting written submissions, will look at a number of specific areas including:

• How much the policies set out in the Government’s Action for roads paper will improve the strategic road network for road users.

• How well Government policy for roads links in with its planning for other transport modes.

• Whether Government forecasts for growth in demand for the strategic road network are reliable.

• How the reliability and efficiency of the strategic road network can be improved.

• How investment in such roads could be increased.

Committee specialist Richard Jeremy told the inquiry into the road network had been widely suggested in a consultation with members of the public earlier this year.

Among the issues the committee is particularly keen to explore is how the Action for Roads white paper, published in July, ties up with the subsequent Transport: an engine for growth strategy document published in August, which appears to have “a different emphasis”, said Jeremy.

The issue of government traffic forecasts will also be a key part of the committee’s inquiry. “It’s quite notorious that the forecasts for growth on the strategic road network have been reliably wrong for the last few years,” said Jeremy.

“We want to look at why the Government is forecasting 50% growth in demand for the network [by 2040] when that hasn’t happened in Britain up to now and lots of other countries are seeing either no growth or very small growth in traffic.”

Transport Committee clerk Mark Egan added that he expected the inquiry to look closely at the issue of roads investment, including “different options for funding more investment in roads and whether that means lots more tolling”.

The committee expects to publish a report on its findings next March.