Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Momentum Builds Up

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Momentum Builds Up

Article excerpt

Whether it's congestion charging or a pay-as-you-drive road pricing scheme, drivers will be paying for the privilege of using their cars on the roads from 2015, if ministers succeed in their plans.

Transport ministers from Douglas Alexander down have not been afraid of publicly stating their ambitions for a national road-pricing scheme. As part of the promise of extra cash each area has to investigate the possibility of congestion-charging and road-pricing in their area. The projects will then be used to help develop a series of pilot schemes in five years' time before road-pricing is taken to the rest of the country half way through the next decade.

Greater Manchester and Cambridge are the current front runners to win pilot project-status ( which brings access to a pounds 2bn central pot of cash to spend on large-scale transport plans. But Tyne and Wear is also in the running.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said last night: "We hope that gathering knowledge and getting the experience of traffic problems in an area will let us see local road pricing pilots within the next four to five years. …

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