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BUDGET 2008: Road pricing is back

Date: 12 March 2008   |   Author: Rupert Saunders

After more than 12 months of conflicting signals on road pricing, Chancellor Alistair Darling has clearly indicated for the first time that the Government is going to press ahead with a national pricing scheme.

Darling said the Government needed to "take radical steps to reduce congestion on our roads" and drew attention to schemes already announced, such as the use of hard shoulders in times of maximum congestion.

Darling continued: "In the longer term, it is clear road pricing could reduce congestion" and he announced he had "set aside funds" (as yet unspecified) for a national road pricing scheme.

He said he would invite tenders from the private sector to "run a number of projects based on charging by time of day, distance travelled and route chosen".