Saturday, 22 August 2009

Motorists may be forced to pay EU congestion tax

Motorists may be forced to pay EU congestion tax.
NORTH East motorists could be forced to pay congestion charges following the intervention of the European Union, it was claimed last night.

Campaigners allege that the Brussels bureaucrats are drawing up rules on that will result in the introduction of road tolls across Europe – including in the United Kingdom – despite overwhelming opposition from motorists.

The European Commission is developing a long-term transport strategy and supports congestion charging as a way of raising money for cash-strapped Governments.

Decisions made by the commission have resulted previously in public reaction to road charges being gauged across the North East.

Options investigated included a £3 charge every time motorists entered Newcastle city centre or a flat £2 daily rate as well a 5p per mile fee for major roads like the A1 and A19.

A 10p per mile weekday charge for any road in large swathes of Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside was also explored.

The claims come from the Open Europe think-tank, which is openly sceptical of the EU’s current role.

It also argues for reform of Brussels institutions, which it regards as over-loaded and ill-equipped to deal with today’s economic challenges.

Director Lorraine Mullally said: “If Ireland votes Yes to the Lisbon Treaty in its second referendum in early October, the UK Government will lose its ability to veto any proposals it doesn’t like the sound of.

“Congestion charges and road tolls should be decided regionally or locally and as close as possible to the people who will have to pay them, not by the unelected European Commission in Brussels.”
There will be no area of life that the the EU will not seek to control if it is not stopped.

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