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Anti-tolls campaigners have reacted angrily to the plan to extend the M6 toll road from Birmingham to Manchester.
Tunnels users on Merseyside recently lost a long battle against the Mersey Tunnels Act that means tolls will increase instead of being phased-out as previously planned. The measure scraped through by just 10 votes in the House of Lords last week (28th June). But the Mersey Tunnel Users have now banded together with campaigners in Scotland, Wales and England to form a National Alliance Against Tolls (NAAT).
A spokesman for the NAAT said:
"We will be campaigning against this extension of tolling on the M6.
There should not be turnpikes in the 21st Century because they form a regressive tax that falls on drivers regardless of their income.
Tolls are also highly unfair because they depend on the lottery of where you live and not on the ability to pay.
The Government is also due to announce later this year its decision on the new Runcorn bridge across the Mersey.
That decision was due last December but was postponed. It now begs the question whether that and the two existing motorway crossings in the area between Liverpool and Manchester will be tolled."
"When tolls are introduced it used to be claimed that they would only be short term and that when construction cost was recovered then tolls would go.
The reality is that tolls are now just another tax.
They also hinder the economies in the area immediately around the toll roads, and cause some drivers to make inferior choice of route which will increase fuel consumption and add to congestion on non toll roads.
This M6 toll road will further increase the North South divide by placing a toll barrier across a main route to the North West and Scotland."
"Road users pay £44 billion a year in taxes and only £6 billion of this is spent on roads. With 31 million vehicles, this is about £1,400 per vehicle in taxes and only £200 on roads spending.
Road users don't want a situation like in France, where a lot of the time the toll road is almost empty, while the non toll road is congested.
Toll barriers themselves generate costs both in their operation and in the queues that form.
We will be campaigning for all road users to oppose the introduction or extension of out-dated tolls."
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