The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the Prime Minister’s call for an urgent increase in private investment for much needed improvements to the transport infrastructure, but has warned against additional costs which could discourage lorries from using those roads. It has long argued that investment in the strategic road network should be a long term commitment, rather than spending which is heavily influenced by the Chancellor’s need to annually balance the books.
The association says that roads congestion is blighting the economy and is bad for the environment. Making the cost of road use more explicit would give road users a greater stake in the network performance that they could reasonably expect.
Theo de Pencier, FTA’s Chief Executive, said:
“In the current tight fiscal conditions, we understand the need to look at new ways of funding infrastructure and we look forward to helping shape the debate about how that could be done.
“The freight industry will want to look at how these plans relate to existing transport taxes such as fuel duty and vehicle excise duty, and how any new pricing structures can be developed to ensure that the new capacity is utilised in the most efficient and effective way. Given that road users already pay £41 billion a year in taxes, charges and tolls, then any new cost cannot be in addition to this and must be a substitution for fuel duty.”