The Road Haulage Association has reacted strongly to proposals made today by the Prime Minister that the Government is to look at innovative approaches to the funding of our national roads – to increase investment to reduce congestion.
RHA Chief Executive Geoff Dunning said: “While we welcome the acknowledgement that the UK road transport infrastructure needs to see major investment, we consider the proposal of introducing tolls on new roads to be quite unthinkable.
“We have an economy and a workforce that is desperately trying to recover from several years of extreme hardship. To hear that there are proposals on the table to take yet more money out of the pockets of motorists and hauliers is ludicrous and would do no more than put the economy back on its knees.
“Over £48 billion was collected from road users in 2010/11; fuel duty alone at £26 billion accounted for over half of that figure. Yet despite the amount raised, just short of £10 billion was used to improve and maintain the current network.
“With fuel prices at an all-time high and fuel duty levels causing genuine hardship for motorists and hauliers alike, this is not the time to even consider asking for more money; it is the time for road users to finally see a return on their investment.
“Unless we see the issue of fuel prices and fuel duty addressed as a matter of extreme urgency, the chances of traffic levels returning to the levels that reflect economic growth will be slim”.