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Goverment says expect tolls within ten years

Date: 04 December 2006

Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander has confirmed Government plans to introduce road tolls within a decade.

Pilot schemes in Manchester, Birmingham and elsewhere within five years will give drivers first-hand experience of how a nationwide system would work. Bids for these schemes are expected by next summer.

Alexander told BBC One's AM programme that there's still a debate to be had on whether charging is inevitable, but that action is necessary to prevent gridlock. He also said road pricing needs to be introduced in conjunction with proper investment in public transport.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has put together its five-point list of demands for a successful introduction of road pricing (see below). "Transport is a key driver of a country's competitiveness and the Government must take this opportunity to set out its stall for the future in a clear and transparent way," said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan.