This article examines the issues involved in the British Government's plans for road charges. On 2 December 1993, the Government launched a major programme of research and development and trials to find the capabilities of existing technology and specify a motorway charging system. Not all transport experts agree that such a system could be introduced within the planned five years. Motorway charging is intended as an additional source of finance for the motorway system. The Department of Transport (DTp) believes that it would encourage more efficient use of motorways. Many commentators consider that indicated charges would be too low to affect usage patterns appreciably, although low charging will be needed to prevent drivers from diverting onto less suitable local roads. The Government is unlikely to introduce toll- booths, and is investigating electronic methods of toll collection. Each moving vehicle would carry an electronic tag, which would react to signals from roadside beacons, and the toll would be computed and debited automatically. The DTp admits that much work needs to be done on such a system, even though a live motorway test is expected in 1995. There would be a very large logistical problem equipping about 11 million cars and 3.5 million other vehicles with electronic devices. Fitting roadside equipment would be another major project. Another problem is how to make the scheme acceptable to motorists.

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    HIGH WYCOMBE, BUCKS  United Kingdom  HP13 6RN
  • Authors:
    • Lewis, C
  • Publication Date: 1919


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00665158
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Sep 9 1994 12:00AM