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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 06:49 GMT
Road charges may be in south only
Traffic in St Mary Street, Cardiff
Mr Davies said congestion was a problem in Cardiff and Newport
Motorists in the south east of the country may have to pay to use main roads while the rest of Wales escapes road pricing, BBC Wales has learned.

More than 1.5m people have signed a petition against UK government road pricing proposals to combat congestion.

In Wales, the assembly government will decide if they are introduced.

Assembly Economic Minister Andrew Davies has told the Week in Week Out programme it may not be "relevant" to have an all-Wales scheme.

The proposals by the UK government may mean motorists will have to purchase tracking devices for their cars and pay a monthly bill to use them.

It'll (road pricing) make it difficult to continue in the business
Bernard Simpson, courier

Feasibility studies suggest this could cost drivers up to 25 a month, but UK Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman has stressed no decisions have yet been taken about how the system will work.

The petition, which comes to an end on Tuesday, calls the policy "sinister and wrong" and claims the charge would be unfair to poorer people and those who live away from their families.

It may well be that we can deal with the problems of congestion locally
Transport Minister Andrew Davies

The assembly government is "in discussions" with the Department for Transport, although it is "still very early days", said Mr Davies.

He said congestion would have to be dealt with as it was causing "huge problems" economically and environmentally.

'Major problem'

"The biggest problem we have in congestion is in geographically a fairly small area, it's in the Newport-Cardiff area, and the south east valleys and around the M4," he said.

"That is where we have the major problem with congestion, so, to deal with that, would we want an all-Wales scheme?

"I think the jury is out on that, and personally, it may not be relevant to have an all-Wales scheme, it may well be that we can deal with the problems of congestion locally," he said.

One of the people who signed the petition was Cardiff courier Bernard Simpson, who drives 70,000 miles a year.

He said: "There's only so much you can take. It'll make it difficult to continue in the business."

Week In Week Out is on Tuesday, 20 February at 2235 GMT on BBC One Wales

"It may not be relevant to have an all-Wales scheme"

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