East Anglia Toll Road Under Consideration

Privately Funded UK Toll RoadsThe Department for Transport is currently investigating whether private cash could be used to build a new relief road in order to ease congestion from Felixtow to the Midlands.

The DfT previously scrapped its plans to widen and improve a 22 mile stretch of road between Ellington and Fen Ditton in Cambridgeshire, which would have cost more than £1 billion.

Labelling the scheme as unaffordable, the DfT is investigation whether private money could be brought in to build the relief road, with subsequent investors recouping their investment from tolls.

The scheme would be similar to that of the M6 relief road in Birmingham, where motorists are charges between £3.50 and £5.00 to use the road, depending on the time of day.

The Coalition Government has previously mentioned that it would consider charging UK motorists for the use of new congestion-busting schemes. But this privately funded scheme would create entirely new roads, running alongside the existing network.

At the same time a number of unidentified local authorities have also approached the DfT with proposals for other privately-built bypasses which again would be funded directly by the motorist.

The Coalition has already ruled out imposing new tolls on existing roads paid for by the taxpayer, with ministers angering motorists when they announced that the charge for using the Dartford Crossing on the outskirts of London from £1.50 to £2 in 2011 and to £2.50 in 2012.

Commenting on the privately funded relief roads scheme, the AA expressed their doubts  as to whether the new toll roads would be the answer to heavy congestion on major routes:

“They will have to look very carefully at this to see that it will work. They won’t want to see a repetition of what has happened on the M6 relief road, which nobody is prepared to pay to use.

“The simple fact is that motorists would rather sit in traffic than pay.”

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