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‘We will listen’ says Government on road tolls plan

Transport secretary Douglas Alexander has promised to listen to the concerns of more than a million people who have signed an online petition opposing the introduction of road-user charging. But he insists the UK does not have the option of doing nothing to counter the growing problem of traffic congestion.

The petition on the Downing Street website calls for the scrapping of the ‘planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy’. Each signatory will reportedly receive an individual email setting out the Government's position after the petition closes on February 20.

Alexander said there will be consultation on the issue – as well as regional trials - before a final decision is made.

He told the BBC that the government would ‘listen to people’.

'Ultimately, it will be a matter for parliament to make decisions but it is important that people have the chance to have their say and no doubt people will offer a range of opinions during that debate.'

However, he said Britain's roads were 'literally filling up. We don't have the option of doing nothing'.

Plans to introduce a nationwide ‘pay-as-you-drive’ system were unveiled by former Transport Secretary Alistair Darling in 2005.

Darling's successor, Alexander, has since suggested that road pricing could be brought in within a decade and that regional trials are planned.

  • petitions.pm.gov.uk/traveltax/

  • Listen to the BBC interview with Alexander.
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