15:03 Wednesday 04 December 2013

MP Jim Paice welcomes decision to scrap toll plans for A14

Written byJORDAN DAY

MP Sir Jim Paice MP Sir Jim Paice

MP Jim Paice has welcomed news that tolling will not be introduced on the A14.

The Government had proposed to charge motorists £1 or £1.50, and heavy vehicles double that, to use a congestion-busting southern bypass between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

Political and business leaders in Cambridgeshire had only supported tolling very reluctantly, while their counterparts in Suffolk had opposed outright.

Now the £1.5 billion project, which is due to start in 2016, will be wholly funded by taxpayers without tolling.

The announcement was made by yesterday (Tuesday) morning.

It follows a consultation period during which local residents and businesses were invited to share their views on the scheme.

Sir Jim Paice, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, said: “A number of my constituents and local businesses have raised concerns about the tolling proposal.

“I am glad that the Government has listened to these concerns.

“Funding arrangements for the bypass now need to be finalised to ensure that this important scheme is not delayed.”

John Bridge, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, hailed the reports as a “positive step forward and a victory for common sense”.

Motorists and businesses had been concerned about the cost of tolling, and that charging could push more traffic onto smaller roads.

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