Gridlock And Road Rage (C4, 9pm); River Cottage Spring (More 4, 9pm

THE motor car leaves a lot to be desired as a system of transport.

Peter Marsh, director of the Social Issues Research Centre, points out it's an "individuallyowned, very expensive box, easily damaged, kills people, pollutes the environment and crashes into each other".

Put that way, it doesn't sound a very good idea. You can see his point. The very thing developed to move us from A to B, these days tends to get us nowhere fast. Or nowhere slow, as every morning 15 million cars hit the road - and sometimes each other - for the daily commute.

Facts and figures pile up quicker than vehicles on the M1 in fog. Cars are increasing by 800-a-day, we're spending twice as much time commuting into work today than five years ago, and 20 per cent of journey time is actually spent at a complete standstill.

The Cutting Edge documentary does a thorough job at investigating our obsession with and reliance on motorised vehicles and the frustration even the simplest journey can bring.

Tony spends six hours a day on the road as he travels to business appointments. Each appointment is worth a potential £3,000, so traffic jams cost him money.

Single mum Helen, with two children to ferry to different schools and get to work in the centre of Manchester, finds her 16-mile journey takes up to 90 minutes. And that's on a good day.

Peter Marsh reappears to tell us that driving in traffic-clogged London is now slower than in the days of the horse and cart. New Mayor Boris Johnson might be better to replace bendy buses with horses rather than his precious Routemasters.

Listening to the evidence, it's hard not to agree with the view expressed that driving is an expensive form of lunacy which we inflict on ourselves, someone says, because we have no option.

The film takes us behind the scenes to meet the people trying to keep traffic flowing on the most congested motorway system in Europe - the Highways Agency. From hi-tech control rooms in seven bunkers dotted around England, its workers attempt to keep the traffic moving with the aid of 2,500 roadside cameras.

Accidents, broken-down vehicles, stray animals and debris on the carriageway are all part of a day's work, but not always appreciated by motorists slowed down to a crawl by a highways vehicle or overhead sign reducing the speed limit.

Advertisers who sell seductive forms of freedom in the shape of cars should be sued.

Where are all the open roads free of traffic we see in the glossy commercials? Or the road rage. More than 80 per cent of drivers have been in a road rage incident, with a quarter committing one themselves.

Some celebrity chefs serve up kitchen rage. Not Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. He takes a more free-and-easy, expletive-free approach in his latest series, River Cottage Spring.

In common with other TV chefs, he isn't satisfied with just cooking. He wants to be a crusader too. He's into growing and eating seasonal food, recruiting five Bristol families to go back to the land.

We could all do it because, he discovers, if six or more people get together and ask the city council to provide them with land to raise food on, then the council is obliged to do so. Thousands of acres of city land is available to be thrown over to growing of vegetables or keeping livestock.

He also believes that people who eat meat should do a stint in the kitchen. A sort of culinary national service for carnivores. Understanding meat makes you a better shopper and more confident cook, he believes.

His new butcher's assistant is Susan, a vegetarian for 15 years who cooks meat for family and friends wearing yellow washing up gloves. She wants to become a meat eater again when she marries.

Fearnley-Whittingstall leads her like a lamb to slaughter into the kitchen. He produces the heart, liver and lungs all attached to the windpipe. It's like a bloody, giant meat necklace. He believes you show respect to the animal by eating the whole animal, making it sound like some bushtucker trial.