Drivers may have to pay to use a 20-mile section of an existing road for the first time under plans announced yesterday by the Government.
The A14 corridor scheme in Cambridgeshire has been added to the Department for Transport's major projects programme and work could start by 2018.
The Department said funding for the improvements could be generated in part through tolling a length of the enhanced A14, featuring a 20-mile section of widened road, or a new section. But it added that more work would be done "to determine the best tolling solution, including what length the tolled section should be, how users would pay and what the tariff should be".
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Today's announcement is significant. Ministers have gone further than before by opening the possibility for tolling existing roads and not just brand new capacity – in this case a widened section of the A14, a critical international trade route.
The shadow Transport minister John Woodcock said: "Tolling existing roads is another broken promise to motorists who are being squeezed like never before by this out-of-touch government. Ministers need to spell out how many road users will be caught by the new tolls they are set to impose on existing roads."