HC Deb 25 November 1981 vol 13 c879
12. Mr. David Atkinson

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has any plans to introduce toll charging on existing and future motorways.

Mr. David Howell

I am considering possible methods of raising extra resources for new road construction, but I have not yet reached any conclusions.

Mr. Atkinson

I thank my right hon. Friend for his encouraging reply. Does he accept that the country has much to learn from the experience of both Continental and American toll roads? Does he agree that an opportunity is provided to apply that experience to the proposed M40 inter-city motorway link between Oxford and Birmingham?

Mr. Howell

I should not like to comment about a particular project, but I agree that there are some interesting ideas to learn about new road projects.

Mr. Newens

Does the Minister agree that it would be a retrograde step to introduce tolls on a wide scale in the present circumstances? Will he make it clear that he has no intention whatever of doing anything of that sort?

Mr. Howells

If the public are faced with the possibility of new roads being paid for by tolls, they should have a chance to discuss the matter without it being dismissed as a retrograde step.