Fleet News

Reports call for road pricing to cut congestion and pollution

NEW calls for the Government to introduce urban road pricing to combat traffic congestion and reduce vehicle pollution have been made in three new reports. Two of the reports have been written with the backing of The Centre for the Management of Traffic and the Environment, but another member of the group has called for a sense of balance amid the anti-car hysteria.

The new think-tank is chaired by former Transport Minister Steven Norris, now director general of the Road Haulage Association, and other members include: councillor David Begg, Labour convenor of Edinburgh City Transportation Committee; Stephen Joseph, of pressure group Transport 2000; David Bayliss, director of planning at London Transport; Edmund King, campaigns manager of the RAC; Professor Peter Jones, of Westminster University; and Professor Peter Hills, of Newcastle University.

The Centre's first two reports examine road pricing - 'Reducing Car Travel: The Limitations of Public Transport' by John Wootton, president of the Institution of Highways and Transportation, and Rees Jeffreys, professor of Transport Planning at Southampton University; and 'Urban Road Pricing: Time for Action' by Begg, who is also professor of transport at Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University.

The third report from the free-market Adam Smith Institute, called 'Deregulated Decade: Ten Years of Bus Deregulation' by transport professor John Hibbs, of the University of Central England, says the introduction of road pricing would make buses more attractive than cars. The report says urban road pricing is essential in cutting congestion and promoting bus use. Research indicates that bus operators would cut costs - and thus fares - by up to 20% if cars were charged to enter city centres and traffic flow increased as a result.

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