Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to start charging people to use UK roads, while further privatising sections of the transport infrastructure, has been slammed by a group representing lorry drivers.
Geoff Dunning, chief executive of theRoad Haulage Association , pointed out that the Government collected £48 billion-worth of taxes from motorists in 2010-11, yet only around a fifth of this amount (just under £10bn) was spent on road improvements.
He also argued that now is no time to extract even more money from ordinary people, in light of the exorbitant costs of petrol and diesel, high rates of other taxes on drivers and increasingly expensivecar insurance cover.
Mr Dunning said: "While we welcome the acknowledgement that the UK road transport infrastructure needs to see major investment, we consider the proposal of introducing tolls on new roads to be quite unthinkable.
"We have an economy and a workforce that is desperately trying to recover from several years of extreme hardship.
"To hear that there are proposals on the table to take yet more money out of the pockets of motorists and hauliers is ludicrous and would do no more than put the economy back on its knees."
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