Fleet News

Commission calls for more road tolls

FEWER traffic jams, more public transport and new roads in heavily congested areas could be achieved if the Government adopts 'pay as you drive'.

The Independent Transport Commission said today charging motorists to travel would raise enough money to pay for better infrastructure such as tunnels to improve traffic flow.

Co-author Stephen Glaister, professor of transport and infrastructure at Imperial College London, told the BBC: 'I think charging is the best of a difficult bunch of policies Britain has 60 million people and more 30 million cars on the road. It really does improve road conditions.

'It creates a better quality of life and it provides revenue for things local authorities like to do - like having new bus services, new trams, better railways.'

Glaister was part of a team of academics that helped to draft a report by former British Airways chief Rod Eddington on the shape of Britain's transport network beyond 2015.

Eddington's report, to be delivered on December 6 is likely to back national road charging, streamlined planning decisions and air traffic expansion but rule out new high-speed rail links.

Transport secretary Douglas Alexander has already declared his support for road pricing as a means of tackling growing congestion problems and a project to assess technology to charge drivers by the mile has been given government funding of £10 million.

More than 95% of responses were against plans for the privately built road.

However, any moves to introduce road pricing or a new road-building programme would inevitably attract opposition from many road users and environmentalists.

In May, 2006 the parliamentary transport committee accused ministers of ignoring the results of consultation over plans for a tollway linking Birmingham and Manchester.

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