Welsh Conservatives blast suggestion of tolls for older cars on Wales’ roads
Conservatives have blasted a suggestion in a government survey that older cars could be asked to pay tolls on some Welsh roads.
The Welsh Government asked motorists for their views on paying to use parts of the M4 motorway and A470 in order to tackle air pollution, but say there are “currently no plans for congestion charges”.
The suggested tolls would be on the M4 around Newport and the A470 around Pontypridd, two of Wales’ busiest stretches of road, with prices ranging from £3 to £8 for petrol cars registered before 2006 and diesels plated before September 2015.
But Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters said: “To be clear there are no plans and there are no discussions about road charging. Our focus is on improving public transport, active travel and car sharing to give people real alternatives to driving.”
However, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Described it as a “kick in the teeth for hardworking people, and would hit the poorest in our society”.
He added that it was a “sure-fire way to continue to hold back the Welsh economy”.
Former Welsh Secretary and Vale of Glamorgan MP Aun Cairns said: “Having scrapped the Severn Tolls almost three years ago, I can’t believe that the Welsh Government are proposing options to toll the M4. Why are they so anti-commuter and anti-business?”
A Welsh government spokeswoman said that despite being included in the survey there were currently no plans for extra charges on Wales’ roads.
“In a separate piece of work, in line with our legal obligations to reduce harmful levels of nitrogen dioxide, we have commissioned surveys to gain people’s views on clean air zone proposals on the M4 between junctions 25 and 26 in Newport and on the A470 between Upper Boat and Pontypridd,” they added.