Nationwide Congestion Charging By 2011 Says Autocar

Britain’s 10 biggest cities will be hit with a London style congestion charge by 2011, according to Autocar magazine.

The magazine has uncovered evidence that as well as applying subtle pressure the government has tied the supply of public finances to the introduction of city centre tolling. No congestion charge means less funding.

Rob Aherne, Autocar editor said "If you live in or near a major city keep an eye on your local newspaper because a congestion charge in one form or another will be on its way very soon".

Autocar also reveals that the government has wider plans to introduce nationwide road tolling as early as 2015. Such a system is likely to use GPS satellite tracking or DSRC (Digital short Range Communications) which uses microwaves to communicate with roadside beacons. Both systems would require all vehicles to be fitted with an in car kit that will cost around £30.00 per car.

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling has already gone on record saying that road tolling could mean British motorists paying up to £1.34 per mile to drive at the busiest times.

The costs of implementing such systems are massive, too. Sources suggest that the financial outlay to administer a nationwide system would be in the region of £23 billion. This figure does not include fitting every car with the technology, or the billions that will be required for the thousands of roadside beacons.

Rob Aherne said: "The introduction of road charging will dramatically affect the way of life for a huge number of people, especially those who live in the countryside or just cannot afford to live near their place of work. Road charging could affect many people’s quality of life.’

26 July 2005 Staff

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