Opinion Former Article

IET: Press ahead with road plans but watch out for limitless toll charges

Following today’s announcement by the Prime Minister on infrastructure investment, Europe’s largest professional society of engineers is urging the Government to press ahead with its plans to increase investment and capacity on the UK’s roads.

Prof Phil Blythe from the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said: “With the Government predicting 40 per cent more traffic by 2025, there is a clear need for new investment and capacity on England’s roads. With no strategy currently in place to deal with this, action is urgently needed.

“The current economic situation means that the Government must look at raising revenue in other ways, something that is common in other utility areas such as gas, electricity and water.

“Technology will be paramount in allowing an increase in capacity, particularly in relation to ‘hard shoulder running’ and managed motorways.”

The IET is also concerned that companies could potentially charge any fee they wish to road users.

Phil Blythe said, “The toll company on the M6 can charge any fee it wishes, and in future this could prove problematic. I think the Government needs to be careful that future toll charge mechanisms are authorised by the DfT. At present, the Government spends between £9 billion and £12 billion on roads, despite raising around £46 billion from road taxes each year.”

Ends

Notes to editors:
Interview opportunities are available with IET transport policy experts
The IET’s Road User Charging Fact File can be downloaded at http://www.theiet.org/factfiles/transport/road-user-page.cfm
The IET is Europe’s largest professional body of engineers with over 150,000 members in 127 countries.
For more information, visit www.theiet.org.
Follow the IET on Twitter.

Media enquiries to:
Robert Beahan, Media Relations Manager
T: +44 (0)1438 767336
M: +44 (0)7595 400912
E: rbeahan@theiet.org


 

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