Secret Toll Plans for A14!

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Business leaders are calling for transparency from MPs ahead of a crucial debate that could pave the way for widespread tolls on our road network.

Campaigners fear that the Infrastructure Bill, currently under scrutiny by a committee of MPs, would convert the Highways Agency from a government agency to a strategic highways company with sharp financial targets and the power to implement tolls with the consent of the Secretary of State.

A committee of MPs is currently debating the bill and is due to report back to the House of Commons on Thursday. The bill has already passed through the House of Lords and is just one further reading away from being made law.

John Bridge OBE DL, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said:
“MPs risk losing the trust of voters unless they come clean about the contents of this legislation and the impact it could have on motorists in the future. It is very much tolling by the back door and I think the general public will be very interested to hear whether their own local MP believes motorists and businesses should pay any more towards the cost of maintaining and upgrading road infrastructure when such a colossal amount is already collected in road taxes and fuel duty.

“The introduction of tolls would hit everyone, not just motorists, with the likelihood that increased transport costs would be passed on to businesses and consumers and the increased congestion across alternative routes surrounding each scheme would negatively impact upon quality of life.

“The A14 is a route of national economic significance and it has been little over a year since the government was alleged to have backed down and bowed to public pressure to scrap plans for a toll on the A14. Now it would appear that our very same government has found a way to quietly revitalise its proposals.”

The Chamber is urging members of the public to contact their local MP to question their support for the bill and the principle of tolling. Search for your local MP’s email address by entering your postcode here.

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