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AA gives conditional support to new toll plan

The AA Motoring Trust has voiced its support to the 'pay-as-you-go' toll road the Government announced a consultation on today - but only if the billions of pounds that motorists already pay in road and fuel tax are ring-fenced and reduced.

John Dawson, the AA Motoring Trust director, says: “It is a good solution to build an express through motorway close to the line of the existing M6. It will minimise intrusion into the countryside and traffic won’t be diverted onto alternative roads and local communities won’t suffer from diverted traffic.

“However, we are calling for a fundamental review of how we will pay for roads in the future through road taxes, fuel taxes, tolls and charging. Road users don’t want to pay twice and if we are to have tolls and congestion charging then road and fuel taxes must fall - if not the motorway should be widened as currently planned.

“UK motorists pay the highest fuel prices and taxes in the world and should not be asked to pay tolls and congestion charges on top. All the money paid by road users should put into one transparent fund.”

He adds: “Motorists will want an alternative route wherever there is a toll motorway and the AA Trust will be seeking assurances that existing motorways remain toll free.”

As for the car sharing initiative, Dawson adds: “As an experiment, additional car sharing lanes are worth trying but the experience in America is that they are as under-used as the M4 bus lane. In the US many are now being converted into toll lanes. This underlines why the future of road and fuel tax is now central to road policy.”

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