December 11 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 21, 2013
Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has called on the Highways Agency to stop tolling the A14 when the cost of the upgraded route is recouped.
In meetings between Transport minister Stephen Hammond and Cambridgeshire representatives last year, it was revealed the Government wanted to raise £300million in tolling to pay for the new road.
The Highways Agency (HA) expects tolling the road would raise between £24m and £30m a year – meaning £300m could be raised in just 10 years. However, the plan for tolling after this time is unclear.
Mr Djanogly, in his reply to the A14 consultation, has stated: “The Highways Agency should identify at what point the new building works are to be paid off, so that tolling should stop from that date. This is not a congestion charge.”
He also said some of his constituents have suggested the HA should consider a local or regional discount on the toll as well as raising concerns about ensuring foreign drivers paid the fee.
Councillor Nick Dibben, St Ives mayor, said if the tolling were to continue that the money should be given to Cambridgeshire County Council to pay for local road improvements.
Mr Djanogly also made representations about rat-running in Brampton, Buckden and a number of other villages as well as an increase in congestion on the A428 and A1123.
A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “The purpose of the proposed toll income is to pay back the government’s investment in A14 upgrade and to maintain the road. The proposed toll would remain in place for the foreseeable future, paying to keep the road in a safe and reliable condition throughout its lifetime.
“The proposed levels of tolling indicate a potential annual income in the region of £30m a year. However, this figure is not finalised and further work will be done as the scheme progresses.”