ON-LINE DEBATE

4 March 1998

Mr Owen Patterson MP (Con. N Shropshire)


I should like the country to be zoned. The people of north Shropshire should have the right to drive around on their everyday business. I do not like the arbitrary use of increases in fuel tax, because that penalises rural areas. However, if those people want to travel further—into the middle of Birmingham, for example—that should begin to cost them money.

That would generate funds, which could be put aside for mass transport schemes, which I hope would be run by the private sector. We could have buses, and help could be provided with toll lanes and schemes such as those in Leicester which have already been mentioned.

Unless those problems are addressed, traffic will increase to the point at which congestion damages the market economy. We need to put a market element back in.

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