Britain moves one step closer towards road charging
Transport secretary Alistair Darling said at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference that congestion on roads in cities was one of the biggest threats to economic expansion and local economies in the next 10 to 15 years.
CBI estimates the impact of congested road an rail holp-ups at €29 billion a year. Convinced that without more radical measures, including more effective demand management and actively managing traffic flows, road congestion will get worse, Alistair Darling stressed the need to look at road pricing.
Department for Transport will help local authorities to develop practical solutions to congestion problems and will support the development of a national road-pricing scheme.
The authorities, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Tyne & Wear, Cambridge, Bristol, Durham and Shropshire, will share more than €10 million to fund the development of schemes which will form part of the government’s study of road pricing feasibility promised last year.
The €10 million is part of a "pump-priming" fund to allow these authorities to prepare more detailed bids for the government’s Transport Innovation Fund (TIF).
Up to €420 million of TIF monies will be available to a select number of authorities from 2008/09, growing to over €2.9 billion by 2014/15.