Controversial plans to create UK's first toll road for a decade 'to be dropped'
Improvements to the A14 will instead be paid for by the Government
Tuesday 03 December 2013
Controversial plans to create the UK's first toll road for a decade are to be dropped, it was reported.
Improvements to the A14 will instead be paid for by the Government, the Financial Times said.
The proposed toll is part of a scheme to widen and improve a heavily congested 25-mile stretch in East Anglia which carries traffic from the port of Felixstowe to the Midlands.
Prime Minister David Cameron said last week that he "understood" strong opposition of MPs and councils to the proposal to charge motorists.
And the newspaper said Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander will announce the £1.5 billion project would go ahead with taxpayer funding.
The Treasury declined to comment on speculation about the contents of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement on Thursday.
A consultation suggested drivers could be charged between £1 and £1.50 - which would have been the first new toll route in the UK since a 27-mile stretch of the M6 between Birmingham and Wolverhampton opened in 2003.
Mr Cameron was tackled on the issue by South Suffolk Tory MP Tim Yeo at Commons question time.
"I am well aware of the strong feelings in Suffolk about this issue and I have been approached about it by many Members of Parliament," he said.
"I believe that road tolls can play an important part in providing new road capacity and it is important that we find ways to pay for road capacity, but I also understand the concerns about this individual case."
RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "If this A14 news is true it is a victory for common sense. Piecemeal tolling that would raise little money but create a lot of aggravation and delay was always going to be a hard sell and not the best advert for pay-as-you-go driving.
"The irony is that if that scheme had been built when it was first proposed then it would have been a lot cheaper and simpler. What we need now is a serious debate about how we encourage private sector investment into the road network, something that all parties continue to shy away from."
Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh said: "This chaotic story tells you everything you need to know about this out-of-touch Government's approach to infrastructure.
"Incompetent ministers delayed Labour's plans for a new road in 2010 and wasted three years on their failed toll scheme. As a result costs have shot up by £200 million and local people and businesses are still waiting for work to begin on this vital new road.
"The Government's half-baked plan to put tolls on the A14 would have caused chaos on local roads, worsened congestion and threatened jobs at the port of Felixstowe."
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...