Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary, has said that he will not be introducing a national system of pay-as-you-drive charging on Britain’s roads (Telegraph).
Mr McLoughlin told the Financial Times that he does not want to bring in national road pricing because “the motorist has been hit hard over time”.
The transport secretary said: “I’m not looking at ways of taking more money off the motorists. I think the motorist has been hit hard over time.”
The last Labour Government toyed with the idea of pay-as-you-go road charging, which would have seen drivers paying more to use the busiest roads at the busiest times.
However, the idea was abandoned following a public outcry which saw 1.8 million signing a Downing Street petition opposing the policy.
In recent months, however, the idea has gained renewed support. Norman Baker, a Lib Dem transport minister, has previously said that he supports the policy.
There has also been backing from some Tory backbenchers and preliminary work has been done by the DfT which could enable the tolling of trunk roads, according to the Telegraph.
In a speech last year David Cameron said that allowing companies to run motorways and A-roads would “increase investment to reduce congestion”.
However, it now appears that any such plans have been shelved by the Coalition.
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