New tolling scheme could cost motorists as much as £1.30 per mile
5 November 2008

The Government has confirmed that road tolling scheme trials will begin in early 2009. It is currently recruiting drivers to take part in its tests.

The trials could result in charges of up to £1.30 a mile to drive on the country’s most congested roads. The system being tested involves fitting a GPS tracking device to the vehicles of volunteer drivers.

This system will automatically deduct payments from a specified account, depending on when and where the cars travel. Drivers would be able to check their balance and statements online.

The trials will take place at four locations around the UK with BT, Trafficmaster and T-Systems – the German company responsible for collecting autobahn tolls – reportedly involved.

Previous Government statements suggested ministers had abandoned the controversial road tolling plans in the wake of the financial crisis and Gordon Brown’s unpopularity in opinion polls.

But yesterday Paul Clark, the Transport Minister, admitted the trials would proceed. “If we sit back and do nothing you can be sure that economic growth will lead to gridlock,” the minister insisted. Clark said the trials would help create a “tool” for local authorities to adopt.

In the short-term, the automatic tolling system would be used to collect existing road charges, including the London and possible Manchester congestion charge.. It could also be used for paying to drive in new express lanes on motorways and crossing toll bridges.

Further into the future, government-funded feasibility studies have recommended that the system be used to charge for using all roads at varying rates.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has appointed four companies to test the road-tolling systems, according to a report in the Times. The small-scale trials will cost £4 million.

Will Powell

Join the debate

Comments
10

5 November 2008

Well i am sure this will improve peoples views on Gordon Brown! £1.30 a mile!!!!!!!!! that is rediculous!

Does anyone else see where this will inevitably lead? 1MPH over the speed limit and they will automatically deduct the £60 from the account and add the points without you even knowing or having anyway to fight the punishment.

May the victimisation of the car driver continue until we all use the public transport system that couldn't cope if we did!!!

Also its nice to see them wasteing another £4,000,000 when everyone is struggling for money. Jolly good show well done!

5 November 2008

"But yesterday Paul Clark, the Transport Minister, admitted the trials would proceed. “If we sit back and do nothing you can be sure that economic growth will lead to gridlock,” the minister insisted. "

- you can insist all you like. Has your Chancellor, the badger one, not told you that far from "economic growth" your omnipotent leader has given the UK zero growth in the second quarter of 2008 and a contraction of 0.6% in the third quarter. Manufacturing output in the UK declined by 0.8% in September. It has shrunken for the last seven months, the worst decline since 1980. The EU Commission predicts UK GDP to shrink by 1% in 2009, the worst performance of any G7 country and only worse in the EU27 by that of Latvia and Estonia. Given the collapse of the UK's property pyramid scheme and sweet fa manufacturing sector to take over from the ponzi financial sector any impartial observor would say the UK is headed for contraction of its productive capacity/wealth for a minimum of five years to come. It's quite possible that the UK will never emerge from this recession come slump and will become a third-world economy - no North Sea oil revenues to bail it out as in 1980s. So, please, lay off the BS of "growth" and "gridlock".

Come clean Clark, whoever you are. You and your kind have bankrupted the country. Public borrowing will be over £70 billion this year and over £100bn in 2009/10. You've bailed out your donors in the City with £50bn and now the bill has to be paid, with higher taxes from the little people. For once in your miserable, worthless life tell the truth. At least be a man, before you and your kind get ejected.

5 November 2008

If this scheme passes and I suspect it will because there is soooo much dosh to be made I and I suspect a few others might be outraged.

It is pointless and no matter what spin is put on it not really going to help the environment which I'm sure we will be told it will.

It will restrict severely restrict the freedoms of certain groups in society for example students like my self who can barely afford to put petrol in the car.

I believe it ruins out freedom to roam our home country which we have been doing for all sorts of reason (Trade, Family, Fun) since we broke the horse to halter.

But these things happen "ce la vie" this is what happens when inspired people are no longer allowed to achive!

5 November 2008

[quote angusmmuir]

It will restrict severely restrict the freedoms of certain groups in society for example students like my self who can barely afford to put petrol in the car.

I believe it ruins out freedom to roam our home country which we have been doing for all sorts of reason (Trade, Family, Fun) since we broke the horse to halter.

But these things happen "ce la vie" this is what happens when inspired people are no longer allowed to achive!

[/quote]

I do hope you're not a student of French. It's c'est la vie. And no, these things do not just happen. You have a voice, use it. Express your opposition. Expose this for what it is - another tax. Do not even mention the environment or green. It's got nothing to do with it. Vote against anyone who proposes it. Fight back! They're bleeding you dry, before you start your adult life. Do not accept the status quo. That's what got Britain into its current bankrupt mess. Have faith, you can change things, when you have knowldege and confidence in yourself. It is not a fait accompli!

5 November 2008

I have a theory. If the car makers do what the government says it wants, and produce viable short-range and self-charging electric cars, the government's tax take from fuel will start to collapse. You couldn't tax electricity at 66 percent (like petrol) , so they need another way to come up with the goods. This trial is just the beginning of a decade-long shift from fuel taxes to a tax on movement. Of course, any shade of government would have to do the same. But this particular government has a nasty habit of using technology to force 'desirable' changes in behaviour under threat of mega-fines. The local council bin wars are a good example.

5 November 2008

[quote HiltonH]If the car makers do what the government says it wants[/quote]

And what car-makers will that be? The wholly foreign-owned UK based car-makers? The UK is one of 27 EU countries, with 60 million out of approx. 450 million souls, It ranks about fourth for new car sales and vehicle production. Why should VW Group, Europe's largest car-maker, producing nearly 7 million units yearly skew its plans to suit a single country in a single region, Europe, especially when that country, the UK, is suffering an absolute collapse in new car sales from approx. 2.5m units a year back to 1.5m a year? I'm sorry but you seem to have an over-estimation of the size and importance of the UK, its economy and its car-buying potential. If anything, due to the structural collapse of UK GDP, off the back of the need to start repaying £1.5 trillion worth of personal borrowing, not to mention the need for further tax raising to pay for the interest on National Debt, which is increasing by the hundreds of billions in a matter of months, the economic clout of the UK and its people will diminish further whilst other EU countries will progress, if only relatively, whilst China and possibly Russia and Brazil will progress in absolute terms. I cannot see VW, BMW, Daimler, PSA and Renault being bothered about what the frankly lunatic administration, that purports to run the UK, has decreed most recently. Witness Porsche's successful challenge to the London congestion come CO2 charge. The UK is already considered by most Europeans as 'other', an incorrigible anglo-saxon mercantile economy, US-aligned poodle. Its economic demise will only serve to confirm to the French and Germans primarily that they need to coordinate and protect their own industries and people's jobs, and leave the tweedledee and tweedledumber of the US and UK to their own induced financial blackholes hell.

No, as to this mass switchover to electric powered cars in next ten years or so, ain't gonna happen. That's not my opinion, but those of the heads or at least R&D heads of VW, BMW and Daimler. In your magazine as well as German outlets they have been quoted time and time again recently saying that electric/electric hybrids will at best play a marginal role until well past 2015 and that there is still much mileage left in the development of internal combustion engines on their own or diesel/petrol hybrids if necessary. VW in particular are adamant on this, showing the 99g/km CO2 emitting Golf and 120g/km Audi A4 just recently. They do no accept that heavier, complicated, more expensive Prius type hybrids point the way ahead for fuel economy for mainstream cars over the next ten year period. Daimler and to a lesser extent BMW also accept that alternative propulsion by full electric drive or hydrogen fuel cells is no where near economic viability and the prospect of a step-change in battery technology, for energy density, seems to be always around the corner, for the last decade or so. Add to all this the collapse of the price of fossil fuel, that is crude oil, by half in a few months and there is no short-term imperative to accelerate the dvelopment of electric vehicles nor a stable background for medium to long-term planning. Bear in mind that oil was driven up in price by speculation not economic fundamentals of real economy supply and demand. The same thing could easily happen again, in as short a time span, by the wall of credit being 'injected' by central banks into the financial system in the last six weeks especially. Inflation always follows an expansion of the money supply.

[quote HiltonH]You couldn't tax electricity at 66 percent (like petrol) , so they need another way to come up with the goods.[/quote]

Really? Yes they're probably not stupid enough to tax electricity to recharge your car at the wall socket but they are already and at dizzying levels. There's already carbon tax, and the target of an 80% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050. To reach that reduction level the UK government says it's necessary to basically move from coal/oil/gas generation plant to renewables generation. This means wind essentially. Now this will mean upwards of 40GW of generation. Windpower is manifold times more expensive per kilowatt-hour generated than a large fossil-fuel powered plant like Drax, or even nuclear. A Drax type plant, even with doubled in last year price, imported coal can generate its up to 3,6GW of electricity, or equivalent of over 15,000 1MW wind turbines at about 3p per kWh. Wind power is currently working out at up to 20p per kWh in installed large scale farms in UK and abroad in Germany, Spain, Denmark and so on. Nuclear is somewhere around 5-10p, as long as you don't include the estimated £75 billion UK decommissioning costs. Now, no electricity company selling power to the end residential, car-charging customer would buy wholesale, 20p per kWh windpower generated electricity if he can still get 5p electricity in the market. That's where the UK govt. comes in. In order for the private sector to contemplate at all projects like the London Array in the Thames Estuary, with its 2,000 odd windmills, the govt. has to guarantee a certian price for the power generated, bit like the old CAP agricultural plan for subsistence farmers in the EU. It's a price-fixing scheme. Anyway, the end result is, the windmills get built and the govt, provides a subsidy to the generator to cover the difference between the windpower cost and the market cost. Eventually of course, by means of the replacement of fossil fuel plants by green turbines there is no competing plant cost to that of the many times higher windpower cost, and the windpower cost becomes the de-facto market price with a 20% or so marginal nuclear generated cost at a little below the windpower cost. So, the need to directly subsidise the windpower plant contractors and power companies ends and the power companies are now able to handsomely cover their costs with higher end prices in a basically monopoly market place, as exists now in the UK, with the Big 6, Edf, eon, RWE and so on. So, where once the UK residential consumer was once paying around 5-10p for his electricity per kWh he can look forward in the near future to not only paying more taxes to subsidise the builiding of the renewable power generating plant but having to pay a continued green tax ad infinitum of approx over 100% for the higher generating costs, taking electricity to well over 20p per kWh in the next two years or so.

So Mr Hilton, even if a mass move to electric powered cars transpired in the next ten years, the consumer would be hit in the pocket regardless. It would actually be worse as not only would the transfer of wealth to the small number of power suppliers be stupendous, but as I say, the government would have to raise taxes to pay for the initial subsidies given to the renewable power plant contractors and running companies. The only way the govt. could claw back lost revenue from fuel taxes in such a scenario is either a windfall tax, no pun intended, on the cartel power companies' profits or as you say put a high tax on movement, the road toll type tax. I've come to the conclusion in my own mind that the UK govt as such has become nothing but a servant to the large corporations, as shown by their unwillingness to cap the profits or prices of the UK power companies, whose prices have risen at least twice as fast as in continental Europe - where they are now already falling again. It is more important to them to keep their corporate donors happy than to ensure a balanced national budget, in terms of ensuring sufficient tax revenue to cover core spending. From this we can see that with the ability to run inordinately high deficits of the order of up to 10% of GDP, taxes, whether from fuel duty or elsewhere, become less of a strict priority. What is key is ensurin

5 November 2008

'If the car makers do what the government says it wants.' Perhaps I should have said 'governments'. This is because the EU increasingly moves as one through legislation. One BMW boss told Autocar recently that they fear the EU will introduce a CO2 limit for inner city areas, as they have for pollutants. God only knows how, but I can believe it. And as a consequence there's a move by most car makers to provide at least one electric model. I also think that Nuclear is set for a French-style revival as the only way to provide low-CO2 base load.

5 November 2008

Yet another example of this lying, duplicitous government saying that it will do one thing (i.e. "we are not now going ahead with road tolling schemes"), and then promptly going ahead and doing it on the quiet. I'd bet that this information was not volunteered by the relevant department but wrung out of them by a long series of questions that eventually forced them into making the admission whilst trying to disguise it as achieving something else. They make me sick with their tissue of lies and spin, the sooner we all see sense and vote them out the better.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

6 November 2008

Mercenary b**tards.

6 November 2008

So we are going to have to pay so they have another way of tracking our movements incase we have n't got our phones with us, I am getting tired of living in this Orwellian concept theme park.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK