Toll on A14 becomes a possibility

Motorists holding motorhome insurance policies will be amongst those impacted by a statement from Transport Secretary Justine Greening regarding toll roads in the UK.

Although the Coalition Government have repeatedly said they would not consider introducing tolls on existing parts of the UK road network, the Transport Minister has now confirmed she is looking at proposals to introduce a toll on a stretch of the A14 in Cambridgeshire. The road is notorious for traffic congestion as it is the only major road artery that will take holiday makers and freight deliverers to the coastal towns and ports of East Anglia. For years road users have called for improvements, and the Government plan would see a 20 mile stretch of the road completely changed, with a new privately run toll road being flanked on either side with free to use roads dedicated to local traffic.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport confirmed the possibility of a toll on the road saying: “Our proposals for the A14 corridor are the result of detailed discussions with local authorities and business interests and are aimed at delivering dramatic long-term capacity enhancements while ensuring good quality un-tolled options for local journeys. It is only because these plans would transform the existing A14 literally beyond all recognition into a high-capacity corridor, with around 20 miles of new or widened road, that tolling is being considered. Tolls are likely to provide only a minority of the funding that would be necessary, with the majority coming from central government and local partners.”

Opposition MPs described the move as yet another broken promise by the Government and motoring organisations were not over impressed with the announcement either. Edmund King, President of the AA, said “The worry is that essential traffic will divert off the toll route and clog up local routes leading to more congestion, pollution and accidents. The Coalition agreement was that there would be no tolls on existing road. This proposal will see them paying for a road which is already there, even if it is an upgrade.”