Friday, 11 October 2013

Residents near proposed A14 toll road call for exemption

Residents near proposed A14 toll road call for exemption

A proposed toll road that could be put in place to relieve congestion along the A14 has encountered resistance from angry residents and local councils who feel those living along the planned route shouldn't have to pay to use the road.
South Cambridgeshire District Council's cabinet agreed that villagers should be excluded from the fee or at least receive heavy subsidies when the toll road is operating.

Road users are expected to have to pay somewhere in the region of £1 and £1.50 to use the toll road when it opens with fees for larger vehicles and HGVs likely to double.

The Cambridge News reported that Councillor Simon Edwards, the council's deputy leader, told a recent meeting: "We should ask the Highways Agency for a scheme where, if we are forced to use the toll road, local traffic is exempt from paying the toll. I think that would defend our residents and I think we should make a statement that any non-HGV vehicle registered in South Cambridgeshire should be exempted from the toll.

"As a bare minimum we should be looking at a season ticket arrangement of £10 or £20 a year for our residents, very much like they do at the Dartford crossing I believe."

Members agreed that the scheme had to be supported to relieve congestion and boost the local economy but settled on the fact that local residents shouldn't be forced to pay.

All councils haven't met the proposed bypass that could run from the Port of Felixstowe through Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon and Northampton with praise though, as leaders at St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath claim the toll would harm local enterprise.

The BBC reported Councillors John Griffiths of St Edmundsbury and James Waters of Forest Heath said in a joint statement: "While we support improvements on the A14, the Toll Tax seems flawed and short-sighted at a time when we're trying to boost our economy and encourage growth.

"It also seems to be promoting unfair competition for our local businesses, not being a tax that other parts of the country have to face."

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