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Chinese set to buy UK roads?

2012-03-19 13:49

TAKING ITS TOLL: The proposed privatisation of UK roads and the introduction of a toll system could have drastic effects on drivers, according to the AA.

LONDON, England - Sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and private investors could take control of Britain's main roads under plans to be announced by prime minister David Cameron in his pre-budget speech.

Tolling could also be introduced to help fund new roads as the government seeks to repair an infrastructure which Cameron claims is "falling behind our competitors".

He's already asked the UK Department for Transport, as well as the Treasury, to carry out a feasibility study on the proposed changes to road financing, the results of which will be announced later in 2012. And later news bulletins mentions that the Chinese were interested in a stake...

Shades of Africa, indeed. We really do lead!


Cameron said: "We need to look urgently at the options for getting large-scale private investment into the national roads network. Road tolling is one option - but we are only considering this for new, not existing, capacity."

The Conservative Party leader pointed out that much of Britain's infrastructure was already funded by the private sector and questioned why Britain's roads still relied on public finances.

Cameron said: "There is now an urgent need to repair the decades-long degradation of our national infrastructure and to build for the future with as much confidence and ambition as the Victorian age once did."

Motoring group AA warned that the proposals could be "the thin end of the wedge", opening the way for surge in tolling.

As we said above, South Africans, you have been warned.

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