National Alliance Against Tolls - Press Release 20 July 2004 on Road Pricing

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Press Release 20 July 2004 on Road Pricing
"The plans confirm that the Government wants to move towards a massive increase in tolling for the use of roads, but they could not be more vague as to what, when and how.

Though the plans are vague it seems that the government wants to introduce pilot schemes for road charging.
Presumably the lucky areas will volunteer to pay even more than they do at the moment. Some local authorities might agree to this, but virtually no road users. Even the government seem to recognise this as it looks as if we are in for a massive "education" programme to convince us of the benefits. Why don't they just ask the road users in those areas lucky enough to already have tolled roads? Though perhaps they better duck when they get their answer.

Most road users realise that they are already paying way over the odds for roads. They would certainly like to see some of the more regressive taxes such as the "Road Fund" licence scrapped. But they don't want to see more taxes, and in particular they don't want road pricing. Road tolls will bring in a two class system, which may suit ministers in their chauffeur driven cars but does not suit the ordinary person. We need more and better roads. But those roads need to be used for the benefit of all.

The Government says that it will be spending a lot more on Transport over the 10 years. But it fails to say how much of this increase, if any, will go on roads. We suspect that the bulk of the planned increase in spending is for the bottomless railways pit. Spending on public transport should not be indirectly paid for by inadequate roads spending and tolls on roads users all around Britain.

Tolls may just be another way for the government to lower public expenditure figures by eventually transferring much of the roads spending to the private sector.
Road users do not want a change from a bad system to a worse one. They want more of their roads taxes spent on improvements to free roads for the benefit of all."

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