David Cameron has announced that the Government are intending to privatise some roads by inviting private companies invest in them, maintaining them and building new roads and motorways for which they will be awarded part of the annual licence fee revenue and by charging tolls on new roads. Britain’s motorists pay some of the highest charges in the world by the annual licence fee, plus petrol tax plus vat. In France where they have toll roads they don’t have an annual licence fee and there are alternatives to the toll roads.
This is another ploy which will end up like the fiasco of Blairr/Brown’s pfi with hospitals in increasing debt; it will result in the motorist being hammered again and again, as companies increase tolls to maintain or increase their profit margins. Remember how we were promised, years ago, that the tolls at the Dartford Tunnel would only remain until the new bridge had been paid for. Yet year by year the tolls increase whilst the bridge must have been paid for time and time again. It is now seen by our political masters as another way of revenue raising.
Although Cameron has denied that it is the intention to charge tolls on anything but new roads, in contradiction he said: "Road tolling is one option - but we are only considering this for new, not existing, capacity. For example, we're looking at how improvements to the A14 could be part-funded through tolling.” Now, excuse me, but isn’t the A14 an existing road?