Tory proposals to impose tolls on new roads in a bid to cut public sector spending have been slammed by UKIP transport spokesman Mike Nattrass MEP.
“It is all very well recognising the appalling state of public finances," said Mr Nattrass. "But to penalise road users as the Tories propose is counter-productive.
"Roads are the the veins and arteries of national life and these ill thought-out plans would seem designed to cause clotting.
“With huge hikes to fuel taxes hardly digested– we now pay 54 pence per litre, that's over £2 per gallon) – and financial pressures across the board to propose extra charges now is madness.
"The people worst hit by these proposals will be those travelling to work. The Conservative Party used to encourage people to go out and look for work, now they plan to penalise them.
“Of course the other sector most impacted will be freight transport. Nobody really likes HGVs thundering down minor roads, but this proposal, if the M6 experiment tells us anything, will drive trucks onto those minor roads. The freight sector is already under the cosh, what with EU-inspired anti-business sabotage. To be hit like this by the Tories could the final straw for many.”
Mr Nattrass was backed by Peter Roberts, Chief Executive of the Drivers Alliance who said:
"Road pricing in any form is a non-starter and government departments mulling over motoring taxation must recognise the folly of any further spending on this dead duck of a proposal.
"Any funding earmarked for road pricing schemes would be more effectively invested in building additional road capacity."