Weight restrictions will not force hauliers to use A14 toll road, says transport minister
Hauliers will not be forced to use a toll road on the A14 through the imposition of weight restrictions on neighbouring roads, according to transport minister Stephen Hammond.
He was speaking at a meeting in Suffolk to allay concerns of local businesses about plans to charge drivers on the important artery in east England.
Tolling up to 20 miles of the A14 would help fund a major upgrade of the road, which could begin in 2018 to help ease capacity issues.
Local MP Therese Coffey said: “There are issues concerning proposed tolling that need to be fully thought through and it is important this is not seen as a tax on success nor for Suffolk business to pay for Cambridgeshire commuter congestion.
“The Minister confirmed that he would not be putting blanket weight limit restrictions on other roads to enforce the use of the toll.”
The Freight Transport Association’s head of road network policy, Malcolm Bingham, said it was good to hear this, but added: “Many of the surrounding roads are under the jurisdiction of the local highway authorities and we would like to see some assurances from them that they will not put restrictions on primary routes to force LGVs to use a toll road if one is built.
“The fear that we have is that a toll operator may become an appointed monopoly if suitable alternative routes do not exist,” he said.