UK roads to become 'pay-as-you-go'
1 December 2006

Motorists should pay more to use the UK's road network, according to a report commissioned by the Government.

The report looked into transport as a whole in the UK – including air, rail and bus traffic as well as private cars.

One of the main conclusions is that congestion could increase by 25 per cent by 2015 in cities, and that building new roads is not a solution. Instead, they say that by-the-kilometre pricing (bizarrely the report suggests 80p a kilometre – not per mile) is the way forward. This pricing would most likely vary according to time of day, in an effort to reduce peak-time congestion.

In theory, money raised from road charging would be used to enhance bus and rail services – but this is only likely to happen after the introduction of charging. The report reckons that without a substantial change in the way we use all forms of transport in the UK, the economy will suffer. But without a reasonable alternative to driving, motorists will have no choice but to pay more.

Of course, we already pay to use the roads – its called road tax – but most of the money gathered from this does not go into the transport network, let alone roads.

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