New scheme to allow motorists to pay to use High Occupancy Lanes
17 July 2008

Following on from our news of the government’s £6 billion investment into road improvements, more details of Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly’s plans have emerged – including plans to allow those prepared to pay to use the new ‘High Occupancy Vehicle’ lanes while driving solo.Kelly told the House of Commons that “where we add new capacity either by using the hard-shoulder, or by widening roads, I am particularly interested to see what role tolled or car-share lanes could play to give motorists a more reliable journey.”The news will be seen as confirmation that the Government is planning to create ‘Lexus lanes’ – to allow those who are prepared to pay to avoid congestion.The big unanswered question is how the extra lanes would be policed, and how the system would distinguish between those using them as high occupancy lanes (with more than one person in the vehicle) and those paying to use them to drive solo. Tolling would likely be carried out using a ‘tag and beacon’ transponder system, similar that that which has been installed on the German Autobahn network for trucks. The use of Automatic Numberplate Recognition – as is used for the London Congestion Charge – must be considered highly unlikely due to the large number of ‘false positives’ it turns up.Ms Kelly’s road plan, documented in a 72-page command paper, has been inspired by priority lane tolling systems in America.

Join the debate

Comments
4

17 July 2008

I say bring on the road toll charge. Most countries with efficient road systems have a toll and they work brilliantly. So bring down the stupid stupid £400+ car tax, the crazy tax on fuel and charge more for driving on a motorway....

if it's heavy, it ain't happenin' 

17 July 2008

What this country needs is to create more bureaucracy, so when are they going to let us pay to break the law and drive down the hard shoulder?

17 July 2008

[quote Lotus Man]So bring down the stupid stupid £400+ car tax, the crazy tax on fuel and charge more for driving on a motorway....[/quote]

What makes you think that introducing one will necessarily see the end of the other?

18 July 2008

This would appear to mix commuters with long distance business drivers, at least at rush hour times.

My experience of motorway driving suggests that these two types of motorists have different priorities and approaches to driving and if they are both after the same road space it is not going to work very well, not to mention further encouraging the late lane change to the exit slip road.

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