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Toll fears for M4 relief-road

  • 02 April 2013
  • By derren hayes

Trade associations have welcomed unconfirmed reports that the government is going to back plans for a M4 relief-road in south Wales.

But the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Freight Transport Association (FTA) have warned that if the building of the relief-road is going to be funded through tolls – as suggested in some national press reports – then the price for using it must not deter hauliers.

Nick Payne, RHA Midlands and Western region director, said: “I welcome suggestions that this will happen but not that there will be a toll.

“Hauliers pay enough getting across the Severn Bridge already, and this toll would be another drain on their meagre margins. It may be of benefit in [cutting journey] time but I’m not sure it will be worth the cost,” he added.

Ian Gallagher, FTA’s head of policy for Wales said: “The FTA is not opposed to the principle of using private finance or tolling if it ensures that new infrastructure is built, but the pricing structure, incentives and the contractual arrangement with the concessionaire must be designed in such a way that does not artificially deter heavy goods vehicles.”

Details of the government’s plans are set to be unveiled in June’s Comprehensive Spending Review, but it is possible that a new relief-road would link the Severn Bridge with Newport, one of the busiest stretches of the M4 spanning around 20 miles.

A recent report by the Commons’ Welsh Affairs Committtee found congestion on the M4 was hindering economic development in south Wales and called on the Welsh and UK governments to find “attainable funding solutions for essential improvements”.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/toll-fears-for-m4-relief-road