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
â‚¬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.
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 â‚¬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 â‚¬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 â‚¬420
million of TIF monies will be available to a
select number of authorities from 2008/09,
growing to over â‚¬2.9 billion by 2014/15.