Spending Review: Toll hikes at Dartford Crossing are “highway robbery”, says AA
Yesterday the Government announced that the Dartford Crossing toll will increase from £1.50 for cars to £2 next year and then to £2.50 the following year – this is despite a previous promise that tolls would be dropped when the crossing was paid for.
Commenting, Edmund King, AA president said: 'The hike in tolls is an act of highway robbery as these tolls should have been dropped – not doubled in two years.'
The AA also voiced its concerns that capital expenditure on transport will see an 11% reduction – despite the organisation having warned that roads and drivers will remain vital to help stimulate economic recovery.
The AA had pointed out that 93% of passenger journeys and the vast bulk of freight are moved by road, but important schemes on the A47, A19, A21, A14 have been cut.
It also said that there is still some concern that local council transport spending cuts of 28% in four years will hit road maintenance and road improvements.
Mr King commented: 'There is some relief that road improvements will go ahead although most widening schemes proceeding will use the hard shoulder. We are relieved that transport spending has not been more savagely cut but we need to see the detail. More than 90% of passenger journeys are by road and hence roads are essential. Whilst welcoming improvements to the A11 to Norwich, the M62, the Mersey bridge, and improvements to the M1, A46, M4,M5 and A3, other essential schemes have been cut.
'It is also worth remembering that road users more than pay for these investments in the £46.8bn in tax that was collected from drivers in duty, VAT and company car tax last year.
The prospect of drivers paying more in tolls and taxes yet still sitting in jams for years to come is not great at a time when it is important that the economy recovers.'