Opinion of Road Pricing
Last few years there has been growing consensus that this is the only realistic longer-term solution to road congestion. It also has support from a number of pressure groups and think tanks - Institute of Economic Affairs.
2005 'Pay as you Drive' system - to be fully implemented by 2015:
- a charge of £1.30 for using the busiest roads at peak time
- lower charges of 2p in rural (and in some no change at all)
- 'Tax neutral'; replacing the current road taxation system with only around 15-20% paying more than usual
The governnment allocated £2.25m for local trials.
Confirmation that road pricing could reduce road congestion folliowed in the Eddington Report, 2006 - it said congestion could fall by as much as 20% by 2025.
However, it was unpopular amongst the people - 2007 1.8 million signed a petition against it and the media added weight to these protests. By October 2007 the plans were effectively abandoned.
- GPS tracking was seen as an invasion of privacy
- Politically unacceptable to the millions of motorists who believe they are already being charged too highly to use the country's roads
1998 installed a sophisticated electronic road pricing (ERP) system. All cars fitted with an electronic box on the dashboard which monitors movement and deducts money automatically.
The impact has been significant:
- 16% fall in peak traffic; 10-15% elsewhere
- reduction in the number of multiple trips in charged zones
- improved vehicle speeds
- greater traffic volumes in the morning prior to charging start
- road traffic levels have remained reduced since the launch year