Drivers “don’t trust” government with new road plans

19th March 2012

Potential government plans for the take over of England's major roads by private firms have been met criticism by the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM).

The reaction follows plans outlined by David Cameron that could see private companies take over the running of roads, in a bid to boost infrastructure spending in the UK.

Mr Cameron has ordered Whitehall experts to look into the potential for a shake-up of road ownership and funding in a bid to attract investors to providing essential upgrades to the network.

One potential plan could see an independent regulator oversee the use of road tax in a system similar to that used within the privatisation of the water industry.

The prime minister put forward the suggestions as part of a radical plan aimed at easing the burden on the cash-strapped state, warning that the taxpayer could not afford the work currently required.

But IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig has hit out at the plans arguing that "drivers already pay far more in taxes and duties than they get back in investment in new roads".

With the cost of tyres, fuel and engine maintenance already weighing down the wallets of UK drivers, toll costs could cause more headaches for motorists.

He also warned that the IAM and motorists in general remain dubious of any potential plans.

"British drivers simply don’t trust the government to come up with a new way of paying for roads that will not lead to increased costs in the long run," he said.

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