Toll Roads

Think Roads Are Always a Public Good? Think Again


Are roads a public good (i.e., a product that markets won't adequately provide)? That's presumably the rationale behind the government's near monopoly on road construction and maintenance. As a society, we've delegated responsibility for everything from country lanes to transcontinental highways to bureacrats somewhere. But need it really be that way?

A recent story from the U.K. offers more evidence the answer is no. From the YouTube description:

Fed up with a 14-mile diversion caused by a landslip, businessman Mike Watts has taken a £300,000 risk and set up his own private toll road. It costs £2 for cars to travel the 400 metres—which is slightly less than the cost of the petrol to take the detour. And the odd thing is this: despite the Kelston Toll Road not being approved by the local council, Mike is still on the right side of the law.

Watch the full video below.