Catching more in tolls' net
In expanding the road tolling system, the Government will be helping history to repeat itself. Road tolls are not a 21st Century phenomenon. In 1854, a commission for the abolition of turnpikes -- the toll roads of the day -- listed the chief objections to the system, as "its vexatiousness, inequality and consequent injustice, the irresponsibility of its administrators and its consequent liability to abuse and its expensiveness and complete inefficiency".
The new plan will be greeted with some similar sentiments. Road users now face the prospect of multiple tolls on the M50 as part of a series of measures being recommended to the Government by the National Roads Authority in a pre-budget submission.
If the recommendations are accepted and the multiple toll system introduced, it will be contrary to the preference expressed by the Transport Minister just two months ago.