15 Apr 2007.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

RAC Foundation's Road Pricing Capitulation
On Monday 16th April, at The British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference, RAC Foundation Executive Director Edmund King will make a speech calling for Road Pricing to be 'rebranded' and 'sold' to drivers.
Mr King will cite the example of the 12-month 'Road User Fee' trial, which used a small number of volunteers in Oregon, USA, where gas tax is only 24 cents per US gallon. Suitable rebranding euphemisms used include the Oregon 'Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding', 'vehicle mileage reading device', which is connected to a GPS linked 'On-Board Diagnostic System'.
ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries comments:
"We are disappointed that the British Chamber of Commerce is failing to represent the interests of its members by holding a sham debate on the issue, where both speakers are in favour of road pricing.
The only way that road pricing can 'work' is if it prices a substantial number of drivers off the roads. Inevitably, those on lower incomes would be hardest hit.
British drivers will not be fooled by a rebranded track and charge toll tax policy. Agreeing to any form of road pricing means handing the government a blank cheque and surrendering control of what they might write on it in the future. Furthermore, little or no research is being done into the potential social effects of road pricing."
ABD chairman Brian Gregory said,
"The major causes of congestion are economic growth, an increasing population, a lack of essential new road building, and deliberate congestion causing measures. Accidents and road works also contribute substantially.
The number of billion vehicle kilometres travelled per year is the correct way of measuring road use, rather than citing the number of registered vehicles.
Roads make up around one per cent of the UK's surface area, yet just another 0.05 per cent would bring our woefully inadequate road network up to standard. Anti-road protestors often claim that building new roads increases traffic, yet we never hear the claim that building more houses makes people have more babies, or building more hospitals causes more people to be sick.
Instead of developing a properly integrated transport system, where the car is an important tool in the 'transport toolbox,' this government continues to find more ways of taxing and obstructing car use.
The ABD believes that the RAC Foundation's continued support for road pricing is ill founded and the organisation needs to decide whether they are a voice for the driver or the government."


The British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference
National Alliance Against Tolls - road pricing abroad
DfT deliberate traffic jam plan: 'Urban Safety Management Guidelines'

Notes for Editors about the ABD