Prime Minister David Cameron has drawn up plans to privatise roads, which he says will “reduce congestion.”
Under the new plans, investors would bid to own highways over a long lease period, which would then be privately maintained thanks to yearly government funding; this extra cash injection could come from inflated road tax costs.
On top of this, privately owned roads could also introduce toll charging, but only on extended stretches of existing highway.
One stretch of road, which has been flagged up for extension and toll charging is the A14 from Felixstowe in Suffolk to its junction with the M1 at Cathorpe. It is frequently used by freight lorries and suffers from heavy congestion.
Smaller roads are not included in government plans and would continue to be maintained by local authorities.
AA president Edmund King said: "Longer term plans, procurement and five-year funding agreements would help improve efficiency.
"However, there is a big leap between reform of the Highways Agency and new ownership and financing models.
"The Government has indicated that tolls would only apply on new capacity but many drivers would suspect new ownership is the thin end of the wedge leading to national road pricing."