European Community (Motorway Toll Charges)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th June 1980.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Greville Janner Mr Greville Janner , Leicester West 12:00 am, 25th June 1980

asked the Minister of Transport if he will discuss with his European Economic Community transport colleagues the gradual removal of the toll charges on motorways within the Community.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

No, Sir. However, the European Conference of Ministers of Transport, which embraces all Community Members, is studying the question of infrastructure charging for road use and it is expected that the place of tolls will be included.

Photo of Mr Greville Janner Mr Greville Janner , Leicester West

I thank the Minister for that statement. Does he not think that it is grossly unfair that during the coming holiday season British motorists travelling on the Continent will pay many hundreds of thousands of pounds towards the upkeep of Continental motorways, while Continental motorists coming here in the holiday season contribute nothing to the cost of our roads? Will he consider imposing a landing tax or some other sort of charge in order to provide a balance?

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

No. The charges are not discriminatory between motorists of different countries. There is a general agreement that visitors to other countries must pay the taxes and charges there while visitors here pay our rates of fuel tax.

Photo of Mr James Dunn Mr James Dunn , Liverpool Kirkdale

Will the Minister look at the possibility of lifting the toll charge on tunnels? If that were done, my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) would be correct in his statement.

Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Transport)

There is a long-standing policy of all Governments that there is a justification for tolls on estuarial crossings of various kinds. It is necessary to keep those toll charges up to date.