Felixstowe: Port bosses happy with A14 toll road idea

EXECUTIVES at Britain’s busiest port are not against part of the A14 being a toll road – but say there must be provision for those who don’t want to pay.

The Port of Felixstowe is part of a regional group of busines and community leaders pressing for a solution to the severe congestion on the dual carriageway between Cambridge and the A1 at Huntingdon.

A �1 billion scheme to cure the bottleneck was shelved by the government 18 months ago as part of the spending cuts to help deal with the recession.

Now ministers are in favour of building a new carriageway but the extra lane would be a toll road.

Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs for Hutchison Ports UK, owners of the Port of Felixstowe, said: “What we are saying is that if there is a toll lane on the A14, it is very important that there is an alternative – in whatever solution is agreed – that works both for local traffic and those on the strategic road network.

“We are involved in the discussions that have been taking place and will continue to work with everyone in the region in pressing for a solution.”

Hauliers have voiced concern about the added costs of using a toll road and having to pay for a faster route.

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Government wants to bring in private investors to run and maintain the existing network and build new roads – believing the private sector with its drive for profits could do it more cheaply than the Highways Agency.

Companies would make money by charging tolls to motorists – such as the London congestion charge or the tolls at the Dartford Crossing – and if they met road building targets would be entitled to a share of road taxes.

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