Motorways should be privatised

* Major roads should be sold to private firms * Privatisation of Highways Agency proposed * Plans would mean motorists paying road tolls...

26 August 2009
Motorways should be privatised

Our motorways should be put up for sale - so say the RAC Foundation in proposals that would radically shake-up the way that Britain's major roads are operated.

It says that the Government should sell off the motorways to the highest bidder and leave private businesses to run the road network.

Another suggestion from the RAC Foundation is the full privatisation of the Highways Agency, which could net the Government up to 85 billion.

For motorists, this would likely result in having to pay tolls to use motorways, although it has been suggested that money already paid by drivers in vehicle excise and fuel duty could be used instead to pay for road maintenance.

'The basic starting point is that the Government will not have the cash to pay for improving infrastructure,' said Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation.

The Department for Transport were quick to draw a line under the matter, however, with a spokesman saying: 'The Highways Agency does an excellent job operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network, and we have no plans to sell off a stake in it.'