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Tories unveil alternative plan to congestion charging


THE CONSERVATIVE Party has voiced its opposition to congestion charging and announced an ambitious agenda for building new roads at its annual conference in Blackpool this week.

Under the title 'Fair deal for Motorists', shadow transport secretary Bernard Jenkin this week mapped out plans for a programme costing an estimated £750M in its first two years. If implemented it would result in the bypassing of numerous towns and villages, and extensive dualling of current single lane carriageways.

In all, the Tories have earmarked 140 'pressing road improvement schemes'.

Tory party transport researcher Patrick Kidd said funding would come from current taxes on motoring and the Private Finance Initiative.

The Tory Party would like to see new roads built in cuttings and tunnels to reduce visual impact in sensitive areas. Concern to minimise environmental impact would also favour silent road surfacings.

Kidd said local authority highways departments would be penalised for failing to carry out satisfactory maintenance under the deal. Fair Deals for cyclists, pedestrians, the rail and haulage industries were in the pipeline.

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