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Local schemes to inform national road pricing debate

Date: 09 November 2006

The Government has awarded nine areas across England £7.5million to develop innovative proposals to tackle local congestion, which could eventually inform their "thinking on a national scheme".

The funding will help local authorities create proposals for pilot road pricing projects ahead of the introduction of the Transport Innovation Fund that will become available from 2008/09, and which the Government says will grow from £290 million to more than £2 billion by 2014/15.

The nine local authorities will use the £7.5million to prepare a business case that will aid their bid for the cash in the Transport Innovation Fund pot.

Transport secretary Douglas Alexander said: "Road pricing has the potential to cut congestion by nearly half and we need to explore how well-designed schemes can help us with our congestion problems."

Alexander added that the local pilots "will inform our thinking on a national scheme".

The areas to benefit from this second round of development cash are: Cambridgeshire, Durham County Council; Greater Manchester; Shropshire County Council; Tyne and Wear; West Midlands conurbation; Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and the surrounding counties; Reading; Norfolk.