Labour to reconsider A14 toll charges if elected

Published: 27 September 2013

Labour to reconsider A14 toll charges if elected

ReturnLoads.net can report that according to the party's shadow transport secretary, Labour will reconsider plans to toll the A14 in Cambridgeshire if they are successful in the next general election.     

Maria Eagle said she was "not convinced" by the government's toll road plans, but warned "the M6 toll road has never made money".

A proposal by The Highways Agency is to build a new £1.5bn stretch of tolled road between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

Labours previous plans to widen the road were axed by the coalition in 2010.

Ms Eagle spoke at the Labour party conference in Brighton "I think the evidence of the M6 toll road is people avoided it.

"Everybody just stayed on the old M6, and they run off on to other roads, many of which aren't designed for heavy traffic - so you get more congestion."

She added: "The M6 toll road has never made money.

"I'm not convinced by [the government's] proposals and I'm perfectly willing to have a proper look at the best way forward for the A14 once we get to the election."

The dual carriageway is a major freight route from the port of Felixstowe in Suffolk to the M1 and M6 at Catthorpe, on the Northamptonshire-Leicestershire border.
 

Back in June of this Year the government announced its plans to upgrade the Cambridgeshire section of the road with a toll.

About 20% of the cost of the improvements - £300m - is expected to be raised by tolling a 12-mile (19km) stretch.

The Highways Agency, which is currently consulting on its plans, proposes cars pay up to £1.50 with lorries up to £3.00

South Cambridgeshire Conservative MP Andrew Lansley said he was "confident" hauliers would pay if the toll was kept low.

Taxpayers & Road users need to “Share the burden a little” according to the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

However, members of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce have described it as a "tax upon business" while the Road Haulage Association has said it could set a "very worrying precedent".

The government said it plans to bring building work on the road forward two years to 2016.

Ms Eagle said: "The thing is they (the government) has allocated money for improvements to roads and new road building, so I think we need to do this in the context of the entire programme that they're proposing and not just deal with roads one at a time.

"I don't think they're going to have got very far with it by the time we get to the election, so it'll give us an opportunity to have a closer look at the right way forward."

ReturnLoads.net will bring you more on this story once more news comes in.

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