Cash to Cruise
Controversial plans by the UK government to introduce road pricing are to go ahead, despite fierce opposition
The government has published a draft Bill laying the ground for local authorities to develop local pay-as-you-drive road charging across England and Wales.
Conservative transport spokesperson Chris Grayling said that despite the government's public denials, the Bill is a "Trojan horse" for national road pricing.
"It's now clear that Gordon Brown is as committed to the government's road pricing plans as Tony Blair has been, despite the petition signed by 1.8m people and official forecasts that such as scheme could cost up to £60bn.
"To make matters worse, they are blackmailing local authorities into being guinea pigs for road pricing so they don't have to take the flack themselves.
The draft Local Transport Bill has a clause insisting that any council proposing a pay-as-you-drive scheme must take account of its environmental effect.
Climate change has been highlighted in the Bill as a factor which should be considered when devising schemes.
While many of the clauses amount to little more than building on powers contained in the Transport Act 2000, the insertion of "green" provisions represents a significant shift from previous legislation.
A tax raising measure - nothing to do with Brown, it is just a "green" measure - oh yes!