The government has outlined plans to allow road pricing on new infrastructure. They should go further and denationalise the entire road network.
Privatising Britain’s road network would raise more than £150bn. This could be used to phase out motoring taxes. It would not only deliver a better road network for Britain’s drivers, but would also cost motorists less than the current system.
The growing number of successful privately built and operated roads around the world – often in developing countries – also strengthens the case for ending state control.
Britain’s road network is poor
· Across the world, state-owned roads are characterised by endemic congestion, high accident rates, poor maintenance and wasteful investment. The estimated cost of congestion in the UK alone is £20bn a year. Adjusting for traffic levels, Britain has a far smaller motorway network that most other major economies.
· The government is biased towards public transport over road investment, and cost-benefit analyses are often ignored. Road schemes have been cancelled with benefit-cost ratios three times higher than High Speed 2.
A privatised road network would be cheaper and faster for motorists
Allowing private owners to negotiate rout