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Local authority chiefs give road pricing thumbs down

LOCAL AUTHORITY political chiefs have overwhelmingly rejected congestion charging in a new survey of their attitudes to transport policy.

Of the politicians surveyed by Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University, 72% rejected road pricing, 17% were interested in it and 11% were undecided.

The university surveyed politicians from 75% of local authorities in Britain.

Politicians were more positive about workplace parking charges, with 36% expressing an interest and 51% not interested.

One respondent said: 'I support the principle of road pricing, but recognise that in areas where congestion is still relatively light, politically it is a non runner.

'I am more hopeful about the chances of bringing in workplace parking charges although their impact will be relatively minor and won't generate significant streams of revenue for transport improvements.'

Local authority chiefs were more enthusiastic about new road construction, with 85% strongly supporting it.

Seventy five per cent of respondents supported road building because it would boost their local economy and not because new roads were needed for safety or congestion relief.

'What seems clear is that an intuitive link between new roads and the economy remains strong, ' said the report.

The biggest fear expressed in the report is the Government's expected scrapping of ring fenced transport funding allocation. This will be replaced by a single capital pot from which transport would compete for funds with other services. Forty two per cent of respondents expected to lose out on resources.

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What do local authority politicians think about transport policy? is available on tel (01224) 263 110.

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