13 March 2008.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Darling Spends on National Road Pricing Technology
But Road Pricing Ditched by Ruth Kelly Last Week
A week after Tranport Minister Ruth Kelly put national road pricing "on the back burner", the Chancellor has announced a funding package to "make the technology work".
In Alistair Darling's budget speech today, he said:
"In the longer-term, road pricing could reduce congestion as well as helping to meet our wider environmental obligations. So I am setting aside new funding to develop the technology that could underpin national road pricing, inviting tenders to test this with the results expected next year."
"Why is Darling wasting money on a scheme that the DfT are supposed to have abandoned?", questioned ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries. "Has nobody told the treasury or was Ruth Kelly's announcement just cynical spin to defuse opposition?"
ABD Member Peter Roberts, whose petition on the Downing Street website attracted support from over 1.8 Million people in 12 weeks said:
"Alistair Darling has completely misunderstood the issues surrounding any road pricing scheme and seems determined to pursue this unfair, unjust and potentially damaging policy at all costs. Motorists are seen by this government as having bottomless pockets and Road Pricing is a brand new tax which will not only penalise us financially for using roads we have already paid for, but it will require a vast and hugely expensive infrastructure to monitor car journeys and collect the cash resulting from our need to travel.
Fuel tax is the best and most cost effective way of charging for our roads, take away VED, put a few pence on fuel and we have a perfectly fair, simple and unavoidable tax system to pay for our road network.
Why do we need Road Pricing; why do we need to spend taxpayers money on consultants and further investigation?
This should stop now"

Notes for Editors about the ABD