Letters: Fairer alternatives to motorway tolls

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The Independent Online
From Mr John Gorman

Sir: The response of the Labour Party to the introduction of tests for motorway tolls ("Road fees will be another poll tax", 1 August) includes a number of valid points (for example, if adopted, road tolls would lead to an increased use of secondary roads with resulting congestion and increased pollution). However, Labour seems to ignore the basic fact that to charge for road use is an inequitable form of taxation.

Be the objective to restrict the use of motorways or the flow of traffic into inner cities, the result would be that those who find it profitable or affordable will continue to motor as they wish, while the poor, as usual, will be priced out or have to make do with second best.

Rationing by the purse is unfair. Only an integrated, planned, affordable system of public transport will resolve the problems created by the ever increasing use of motor-vehicles. But that is a socialist solution, hardly acceptable to New Labour.

Yours sincerely,

John Gorman

Waltham Abbey, Essex

1 August