Electronic tolls are to be tested on two stretches of road before pay-as-you-drive for motorists is introduced thro...
Electronic tolls are to be tested on two stretches of road before pay-as-you-drive for motorists is introduced throughout Britain, reported The Sunday Telegraph (p13). The M3 in Hampshire and a motorway close to Edinburgh are likely areas for the pilot schemes.
John Prescott will announce his plans this week. He intends that local authorities will be able to charge motorists for using heavily-congested routes at peak periods, and put the money into public transport. Industry experts believe a 20-mile journey in London could cost£1, or at least as much as public transport. The treasury has assumed that revenues will reach£1bn a year by 2005.
Every car would have to carry a computer chip which sensors would recgnise and the toll would be automatically debited from drivers' accounts. The technology will be able to identify cars not carrying the chips and issue fines.
Mr Prescott has found an enthusiastic reaction from some local authorities, with many volunteering to take part in the pilot schemes. Edinburgh is seen as the ideal place for a trial because the city council has already introduced measures to curb the use of cars, and plans to set up park-and-ride schemes to persuade motorists to commute by public transport.