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Road tolls 'should follow Scottish example' - FSB

Date 5 Oct 2007

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Ruth Kelly, to call on the Government to follow the lead of the Scottish Government, which recently published a bill to abolish road tolls across Scotland.

Almost half of small businesses carry out their trade within twenty miles of their base. In a recent FSB survey of 3,500 members, 69% of businesses said that they could not reduce their vehicle usage and 93% said that a vehicle was either crucial or important to their business. The FSB believes that removing road tolls will reduce the overall road cost on business and remove a significant barrier to business growth. This growth will boost the economy and create more jobs, as well as more tax revenue to invest in new road-building schemes.

Bill Keenlyside, FSB North East Policy Chairman, said: "The Scottish Government took the welcome step of abolishing road tolls across the whole of Scotland. The UK Government needs to follow suit. "Transport presents a significant cost for small businesses and it is essential that the Government finds ways to relieve this burden to increase competitiveness. The FSB urges the Government to follow the Scottish example and legislate to abolish tolls on bridges, tunnels and crossings, where there are no toll-free alternatives.

"This move would free up businesses to grow and create more jobs. The resulting economic growth would generate more funds for the Government to spend on more and better roads. It should be a priority for this Government to achieve as soon as possible."

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