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No further UK road toll plans

A busy motorway4/12/13

By David Hughes

Ministers have no further plans to charge motorists to use new roads after dropping proposals for the country's first toll scheme in a decade.

Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander said none of the schemes in the government's latest infrastructure plan would involve tolls.

The confirmation that proposals to toll the upgraded A14 had been dropped came as the government received a boost from British insurers.

UK roads to receive investment

The insurers have agreed to pump £25 billion into UK projects over the next five years.

Setting out the latest National Infrastructure Plan, Alexander said: "What we have decided to do on the A14 is we were considering whether tolls were appropriate as part of our consultation.

"We were concerned about making sure we could still deliver the project on the timescale, and we can, even without the tolls.

"We don't have proposals for tolls on any of the other projects that we have set out.

"In June I set out a £100 billion plan for investment in infrastructure, tens of billions of which was funding the roads programme we have set out."

Government to sell stake in Eurostar

The government is poised to sell its 40 per cent stake in Eurostar as part of a plan to privatise £20 billion of financial and corporate assets by 2020, Mr Alexander said.

The plans set out on Wednesday include a new target for selling off financial assets, doubling the amount from £10 billion.

The planned infrastructure investment has increased from £309 billion last year to more than £375 billion.

The decision by insurers Legal and General, Prudential, Aviva, Standard Life, Friends Life and Scottish Widows to invest in infrastructure follows changes in European rules.

Association of British Insurers director general Otto Thoresen said: "Insurers have a key role to play in contributing to the UK's economic growth.

"As providers of long-term capital investment, providing capital for infrastructure projects will help drive a competitive, healthy and resilient UK economy."

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