Pay as you drive charges urged by climate group

October 12, 2009 | By | In Statistics

New, radical plan to reduce road use is tabled by Government's eco-advisers.

Drivers should have to pay to use the nation’s busiest roads, the Government’s climate change watchdog has said. The Climate Change Committee, led by former CBI head Lord Turner, wants compulsory road pricing as a measure to slow global warming.

The Daily Mail reports that the scheme would mean cars would be fitted with electronic tags and tracked by satellite or roadside beacon. Charges would rise at peak times to around £1.50 per mile. The committee has also said that Britain needs up to 1.7 million electric cars on its roads if it is to meet its legally binding greenhouse gas tagets. Members also want economy driving techniques, such as accelerating and braking gently, to be made part of the national driving test.

The notion of paying per mile as you drive is not new. Five years ago Alastair Darling, who was then Transport Secretary, put the idea forward. It was dropped, however, following strong opposition from motoring groups and civil liberty campaigners.

The Automobile Association, meanwhile, said it would be ‘political suicide’ for any group to act on this latest proposal.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘motorists are already switching to greener cars, working more from home and sharing cars. They don’t need the threat of being beaten with road pricing to get them to change their minds.’

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