Fleet News

FTA worries precedent could be set with introduction of A14 toll

As the Government has given the green-light for plans to introduce tolling on the A14, FTA is worried that the decision could set a precedent for road charges in the future.

Whilst the Association welcomes the announcement the proposals for the major investment along the A14 corridor as this will increase the capacity of the crucial strategic route which links the Midlands with Felixstowe, (Britain’s biggest container port) it is concerned that by allowing tolling on existing roads – not just those which are new or enhanced, that such a decision could lead to further tolls being implemented on further routes.

Malcolm Bingham, FTA head of road network management policy said:“FTA welcomed the previous announcement by the Prime Minister that he would look at private investment in our infrastructure, but we were clear that any additional costs imposed on the freight industry would be unacceptable.”

“FTA is worried that freight operators who have to use the A14 in order to get in and out of Felixstowe will be forced to pay this toll, which would be seen as an unavoidable tax if they are not offered a reasonable affordable alternative route to reach the Suffolk port.”

The proposal, under which drivers would be charged to use a 20-mile expanded section of the A14 through Cambridgeshire, FTA considers the decision as a significant policy shift by the government, which had previously ruled out tolls except for new road schemes.

The proposed £1.5 billion upgrade will form part of a major investment in highways in eastern England, which is intended to help ease congestion between Felixstowe and the M6 is planned to begin by 2018.

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  • rosco7 - 20/07/2012 15:31

    The A14 should have been 3 lanes from the very start, so this upgrade is just going to bring it up to date. Using tolls to pay for it is an insult to both car and HGV owners, who already fund this through fuel duty, vat and RFL. One of the biggest problem on the A14 is the number of HGV's that now have restricted speed, usually 50 or 52mph for fuel economy reasons, this causes other HGV's to overtake, sometime taking miles to complete an overtake. This effectively lowers the speed to 50mph of the entire carriageway and results in long queues, accidents and frustration. There is a section in Northamptonshire which has prohibited HGV overtaking for a few miles as a trial, but this is not monitored by cameras or police, so is frequently ignored by many HGV's. Perhaps the investment would be better used to link the rail freight terminal at Rugby to the port of Felixstowe by rail, and remove many of the HGV's altogether.

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