Magazine article Public Finance

Road Pricing Schemes 'Will Hurt Rural Areas'

Magazine article Public Finance

Road Pricing Schemes 'Will Hurt Rural Areas'

Article excerpt

The government's advisory body on rural affairs is warning that plans to introduce road-pricing schemes could adversely affect rural communities.

In a study published this week, the Commission for Rural Communities says that road charges could undermine local shops, public services and public transport in the countryside and bring poverty and isolation to its inhabitants.

Malcolm Craig, senior policy adviser at the Commission for Rural Communities, said the implications for rural areas were being neglected as the government considers new ways to make motorists pay their way.

'They have to think about the Impact on rural communities in terms of road safety and the local economy,' he said. 'Charging could affect the provision of services as service providers might go to other areas.'

While revenue-neutral schemes, which shift costs from car and fuel tax to road tolls, might result in cheaper motoring for rural motorists, some fear they might also pave the way for price-hiking revenue-raising schemes. …

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