Gov’t ‘must consider other ways to cut congestion’

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has expressed its opposition to the prospect of a national road pricing system, saying that the drawbacks of such a scheme would outweigh the benefits.

Roger King, chief executive of the RHA, said that any advantage from national road user charging would be "marginal".

The problems, however, would be manifold, according to Mr King, as the system would be expensive, complex, intrusive and impractical.

Debate on the issue of congestion needs to shift its focus, according to the RHA, as there are other options that can be considered, such as changes in working hours and the encouragement of homeworking.

"Investment must be made to increase trunk road and motorway capacity, to meet existing demand for efficient and reliable transport, with or without a charging system," Mr King commented.

"Let’s talk about reducing the burden of congestion, not about how to introduce a complex, unproven new journey tax."

The RHA bases its conviction about road charging on the system that was introduced for lorry drivers, which was abandoned after four years.

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