Autocar has uncovered plans for road toll schemes across the UK
17 November 2005

British drivers will be forced to pay road tolls within four years using a charge-card system, according to Department for Transport documents uncovered by Autocar.

The roll-out of tolls in late 2008 (hinted at last month by Transport minister Alistair Darling) looks like it will coincide with motorway widening schemes as well as a radical overhaul of company car taxation and road tax charges in a ‘big-bang’ re-alignment of motoring in the UK.

The first confirmation that mass road charging is now a done deal was found in an obscure Department for Transport document called ‘Open Minimum Interoperability Specification Suite’.

Issued in July this year, OMISS details the technical requirements for anybody building the electronic ‘on-board units’ (OBU) that will be mounted inside the car. The DfT says these OBUs have to be able to communicate with a standard overhead charging gantries, similar to those used on continental motorways.

It’s expected that the OBUs will accommodate a charge card that will have money deducted from it every time the vehicle passes a charging point.

The system also breaks down all UK vehicles into one of seven categories including three for goods vehicles, ‘small and large cars’ and motorcycles.

It’s also become clear that this is a pan-European scheme. An obscure group known as CESARE has already established a ‘common electronic fee collection system’ for future European road-tolling, making it possible to charge vehicles from one end of Europe to the other.

It’s thought that the DfT’s ‘tag-and-beacon’ system will be rolled out in London’s expanded congestion charge zone.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out