The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has stepped up its campaign opposing the proposed implementation of a toll road on the A14.
The campaign hopes to highlight that a toll on the road would put them at a disadvantage to hauliers located in other areas of the country.
Jack Semple, the RHA’s Director of Policy said, “The proposal is, in effect, to create something with much the same effect as the Dartford, Severn or Humber crossings. The Department for Transport is even planning to demolish a bridge on the current A14 so that through traffic has no practical alternative to paying the toll – other than not to travel.”.
The RHA has received a lot of backing for the campaign from its members, and the Freight Transport Association have also thrown their weight behind it. Paul Dawson, Managing Director of Deben Transport, a haulier located near the Port of Felixstowe was worried about the financial implications and what they would have to pass on to their customers, “I reckon it would cost us £200,000 a year – that money has to come from somewhere and we cannot magic it out of the air. If we use the toll, it will mean we have to put our prices up for our customers.”.
Plans from the Highways Agency seem to show there will be no sensible alternative route for truckers allowing them to avoid the toll, particularly with the plans to demolish an existing bridge. This means they either face a hike in fuel costs, or must bite the bullet and pay the toll.
The Port of Felixstowe is Britain’s busiest container port, dealing with over 40% of the country’s containerised trade. Most of the trade which comes through the port heads for the midlands or further north, both accessed by the A14 road in question.