National Alliance Against Tolls - Press Release 9 June 2005 on Road Pricing

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Press Release 9 June 2005 on Road Pricing
"DRIVERS DO NOT WANT TOLLS. They are unfair, hit poorest drivers the hardest and encourage people on to less suitable roads.
This has been shown in various surveys and has been proved by the low use of the M6 Toll road.

The M6 Toll was opened with a big fanfare 18 months ago, but the traffic figures for May show that only 47,000 vehicles a day use the road compared with 150,000 vehicles a day using the old M6 despite lane-restrictions and queues.
The daytime tolls are due to increase this month from 3 to 3.50 for cars, so more drivers will avoid the M6 Toll. Most HGVs will not use the road and yet they represent a major element of the through traffic that the road was conceived to carry, when it was called the 'Birmingham Northern Relief Road'.
Without tolls the traffic would flow freely on both roads and a huge bottleneck could have been wiped out.

The politicians argue that without tolls there will be gridlock, but road use has reached a plateau. The latest National Travel Survey, published in April, showed that over the last 30 years the amount of time spent travelling has stayed about the same - one hour a day on average. This is despite the distance travelled per person increasing by over 50%.

But this greater mobility and efficient use of roads is unlikely to continue if there is a deliberate policy of inadequate spending on improved and new roads and more use of tolls. There is a tremendous gap between the taxes on roads of over 40 billion and roads spending of only 7 billion.

Some people believe that tolls will just replace other roads taxes. But the all party Commons Transport Committee suggested in March that tolls should be used as "a revenue raising, rather than a revenue neutral measure".

Spreading tolls is a recipe for disaster for Britain's motorists and industry and the entire body of road users needs to rise up and revolt against it. Otherwise we will have traffic chaos caused by the anti-car brigade. It would create the situation they have in France, Italy, and Spain, where A-roads are choked with traffic avoiding the despised network of toll-roads.

It would not even be cost-efficient because collecting Tolls does not come cheap. The Department for Transport itself admitted in July last year that the cost of implementing tolling on all roads in the UK could be between 10 billion and 62 billion, with annual running costs of 5 billion.

It would be madness to create another huge bureaucracy to run a spy in the sky collecting tolls.
The money should be spent on improving roads and transport rather than creating another nuisance and burden for the motorist.

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