Fleet News

Cautious welcome for new report on road charging

INDUSTRY groups have welcomed a new report on road charging, but believe a system will only work if the price is right.

The report, from the Transport Select Committee, claims road pricing will only succeed if introduced alongside other measures such as road and public transport improvements.

Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation, said: ‘Motorists must be protected against excessive charges set by governments. Charges must be fair and transparent and overseen by an independent regulator. This is the only way to ensure trust and public acceptance.’

The Transport Committee report, called Road Pricing, recommends a phased introduction of small scale charging on trunk roads and in urban areas which will eventually form a national road pricing system.

Creating a transparent charging system is paramount to the success of a new road-charging scheme. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) also welcomes such a system but says the Government needs to ensure it is not just another tax on motorists.

Michael Roberts, CBI director of business environment, said: ‘Businesses would be angry if charging became just another way of raising money for general government spending.

‘They want to know whether the money raised will be returned to them by cuts in other motoring taxes, reinvested in transport improvements or a combination of the two.’

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