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Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
Road tolls: Are they a good idea?
Introducing road tolls is being pinpointed as the only way to cut traffic congestion in towns and cities.
A team of government transport advisers has spent months analysing traffic flows and predictions.
They have privately concluded that a tolling system on major roads, and not improved public transport, is the way forward.
The news comes less than a month after the Transport Department denied it was planning to make motorists pay to drive on motorways.
Environmentalists have long analysed the links between traffic congestion and air pollution.
Are road tolls are good idea? Would they help reduce traffic congestion and environmental pollution?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
James P C, UK
If I saw a toll road up ahead I'd probably do a u-turn. But it probably won't come to that because the government is likely to perform a similar manoeuvre before I need to.
If I was cynical, I might suspect that this "private group of government advisors" was told to say tolls are better than improving public transport in order to get the government off the hook...
The government and their advisors will say anything to squeeze more money out of road users.
Nicola Crossley, UK
We already pay a road toll - it's called the road fund license! We don't need another excuse to dress up yet another form of stealth taxation.
Toll roads won't reduce congestion! I work in Chicago, which has an extensive system of both free and toll roads. Every year the congestion gets worse and worse, tolls rise, roads are widened or extended, and even more cars pour onto those roads.
Despite the reputation we Americans have of being in love with our cars, I and tens of thousands of other Chicago workers take public transportation to work - it takes no longer (sometimes it's shorter!) and I don't have to look for or pay for parking.
I'm at a loss to understand how tolls will harm London's competitive edge. Everybody I know who works in London goes by train anyway.
Road tolls are another revenue collector that will make no difference to traffic congestion. It will simply penalise poor people, and have a terrible effect on anyone living in a rural community who need their cars for work and shopping. If anyone thinks that the toll money revenue will be 'ring fenced' to aid public transport and ease congestion is living in cloud cuckoo land. I live in Gloucestershire and the toll on the two Severn bridges means that many lorries divert to our local A roads, leading to congestion and increases in accidents, and no one wants to scrap or reduce those tolls.
To travel around London I use public transport almost exclusively, simply because traffic congestion is bad and parking can be very difficult. Getting out of town is another matter - going to visit family takes me 90 minutes door-to-door by car, or by public transport I take a bus to the station, then a train, then another train, then I need a lift from the station and it all takes nearly double the time. Add the fact that I can't carry all the things I want, and I am restricted to one train every hour (even discounting train delays and overcrowding) and it's not hard to see why I take the car out of town.
The idea, of course, is that once you have the apparatus for motorway toll charging in place you can privatise them.
Whether or not road tolls are a good idea is irrelevant. We already pay them; road tax, fuel duty, VAT on fuel, a percentage of council tax. If reinvestment in transport systems was anything beyond the very miserly proportion of what is raised from the above then we wouldn't have the transport infrastructure problems that we have today.
Barry P, England
We already have a form of road pricing -
it's called Petrol Duty . - The more
you use the roads the more you
pay and it's already way too
high - just ask last year's
Adding a road toll on top -
essentially yet another tax to
use the roads just adds insult to
I would love to know what planet these government advisors come from. Do they expecting people to stop travelling to work because it is too expensive to go by car and there is no public transport? Perhaps they want us all stay at home until the teleport is invented!
A great way to make money!! But a hopeless incentive to use other forms of transport. Motorists in most cases have no alternative but to use their cars. What else can they do? Take the train to work? Ha-ha-ha!
Kevin D'Silva, England
It would be the private car users that would be stung for toll charges. We can ill afford the tax, insurance, petrol and maintenance already to get to work. Company car drivers will always get their companies to pay. Road tolls are an unfair extra burden those trying to get to work.
Go further. Privatize the road network. One condition: 100% of vehicle and fuel taxes are spent on the roads. In return the road industry puts a wedge aside to cover heath claims, from traffic accidents, and commits to moving to sustainable fuels (alcohol and bio-diesel) within 20 years.
Tolls on just motorways and major roads will only cause large numbers of motorists to divert back to the routes through towns and villages the major roads were built to avoid. Applying tolls all over the place, in towns and cities too, will just add up to an overall taxation on motoring, which we already have in the form of Europe's highest rates of fuel duty, which extortionately taxes every motorist for every single mile they drive.
Motorways where build to get traffic out of the towns - putting tolls on them will force it back through the A roads and lead to more congestion/accidents. Can't see how it will reduce traffic levels!
It isn't the worst idea I've heard the government churn out this year. Do you think John Prescott will get charged double? Who would pay the politicians' tolls...the chauffeur? The politician? No...probably the tax paying public.
I believe most of us use roads because we have to, not because we particularly want to. So the introduction of tolls will probably have little effect on traffic volume. Tolls will, however, increase the cost of commercial road freightage, and this increase will inevitably be passed down the line to the retail purchaser. The end result is that we'll all end up paying road tolls even if we never take the car out of the garage. Marvellous...
Road tolls coupled with improved public transport will reduce traffic congestion. But if the public transport system does not become less expensive, punctual and more convenient, we can forget about traffic congestion ever reducing.
Dave, London, UK
Yet another sure-fire money-spinner for the Treasury, add some spin to convince some of the more gullible that it is a fair way of paying for roads, and Hey Presto! A winning formula.
I am generally in favour of road tolls-living in south London, I would appreciate my air smelling less foul-but to introduce it without improving public transport is mindless. The Government must not look at this problem in isolation. As well as public transport investment, a freeze on building out-of-town superstores, the taxing of company carparks,and cheap inner-city housing for workers are essential if we are to prevent gridlock.
Can you spot the pattern emerging here?
When Labour came to power they made a pledge to reduce unemployment by whatever means necessary. This resulted in many people having to work some distance from their homes in order to "count" towards the initiative. Now the government comes along and says that the honest working public are going to have to pay again for the privilege to earn a living in this "tax forest".
Road Tolls, increasing fuel taxation, rising road taxes are all flagged as attempts to encourage the use of public transport and ease congestion. The problem is that an effective public transport system does not exist. Train and bus journeys in the UK are the last thing that Joe Public wants. Nothing runs on time. Nothing takes you where you need to go. The trains and busses available are filthy and the government has done nothing to improve standards.
I use my car about four months of the year, but I still pay road tax and insurance at the full rate. It would be very easy to include third party insurance and road tax to the price of fuel. Large cars, high mileage drivers would then pay a proportional amount towards road maintenance and I would only use my car when I absolutely had to.
I've read a few of the comments and began feeling angry at the stupid comments that by some saying more tax is required from the bashed motorist. One can only deduce these people need to get a life if we got rid of the think tanks civil servants and red tape perhaps they could spend a little of the ?38 billion on transport and roads and less on super wage rises and fat diners for the useless 600 odd politicians.
To do away with traffic congestion you would have to have enough public transport to satisfy demand at peak times (morning and evening) Then what would happen to those tens of thousands of buses etc for most of the rest of the day? And their drivers? They would either have to be parked up (somewhere) or ride around totally empty. More to the point, who would pay for this colossal waste?
I don't think they will work. You only have to look to see that many people can afford to drive round in huge polluting off-roaders and are not deterred by the fuel bills. Others can barely afford to drive small economical cars. I suspect that road tolls will only deter the latter group.
You should drive around any major American city and see how effective of a deterrent road tolls can be! Seriously, put the money towards better public trains. We should as well...
I wonder how many whinging Londoners will be queuing up to get into Wales for the FA Cup Final this weekend. Some of the worst congestion will be at the toll booths on the Severn Bridges! Wake up people, the car is here to stay, if you don't like traffic jams get on to two wheels, cycle, scooter, motorbike.
Instead of pussyfooting around ban all cars from the cities. Before this is done it is essential that modern high tech public transport is in place with city parks being built to handle the demand.
Taught in History at school how doing away with Toll Roads was an important economic and social reform! So why go back now?
I do not accept that improving Public Transport will not cut traffic congestion. However, the improvements to Public Transport need to be on a vast scale; much vaster than what I suspect are being considered.
Forget tolls, keep one lane only for single occupancy cars and make the others multiple-occupancy strictly enforced with suitable fines, If this encourages people to car-pool then it will have the additional benefit of them having to actually talk to their neighbours to organise pooling and improve society and community in the bargain.
We already do! Its in the form of the highest road tax in Europe. ?38 billion they take from motorists each year, and only hand ?6 billion back into the infrastructure. That is not just obscene, it is theft.
More figures to the readers' attention. (Thank you to Quentin Willson for these). 1975 - road taxes collected ?12bn, amount spent on roads ?12bn. 2000 (?) road taxes collected ?38bn, amount spent on roads ?6bn. Amount put into public transport? I don't know, but I doubt it's ?22bn somehow.
Tony Birchall, Crewe, England
As with most things to do with transport in the UK tolls are a fantasy and based on the false assumption that the travelling public have viable alternatives. As our current road infrastructure has evolved in the late 20th Century to bypass towns and villages and simply to provide sufficient routes to get from A to B, it is absolutely daft to say now we are going to charge you! The only solution is to have a "low cost" efficient and fully integrated Public System.
Anyone that has spent time using the New Jersey Turnpike, Raritan Crossing and the bridges into and out of New York will know the vast expanse of land taken up with toll booths, exit roads, congestion etc. My question is, where is all this land going to come from in and around London?
Funnily enough I hate commuting, unfortunately I don't earn enough to allow me to live close to my place of work. As house prices in the South rise people are forced to commute further each day. The root of the transport problem is too many people having (not wanting) to travel.
Enough is enough. We pay road tax and other related taxes worth about 40 Billion pounds a year. What the government is about is forcing us out of our cars without having the infrastructure ready as far a public transport is concerned.
Phil Jones, France
At best, tolls shift the congestion from traditional bottlenecks to the toll booths; at worst, they cause more congestion, especially on homeward commutes. A better idea is to limit the routes and times that trucks (HGVs) can use the public highways ... keeping HGVs out of cities during the rush hours, for instance, will go a long way to reducing congestion.
An excellent way to increase the vaults of the chancellor. As he gets richer the no-tolled roads will get more congested, the tolled roads will see marginal difference and neither will see improvements in quality and yet he the chancellor will have even more opportunity to say what a great big pot of gold he has to spend in his budget speech.
Road tolls like congestion charging are basically pricing lower income people off the roads. This is a regressive tax and should not be implemented.
I have lived in London for 3 years, and in that time I have only ever used public transport - generally buses. I have to admit that it does make me very annoyed when we are stuck in traffic, and the bus can't move, but there is no way that if you got only half those people to stop driving, that the public transport system would cope. Something needs to be sorted, and quickly.
I think city congestion is the worst problem. In Melbourne, Australia, they introduced a Citylink, a tolled expressway that goes right through the city and out the other side. You simply drive onto it, and then when you're at your destination, ring a hotline number and the daily fee is debited from your account. You can use it as much as you like for that day, and every car is recorded at each entry point so that fare evading is impossible.
Motorway tolls are not the answer. When I visit family, I use my car and I think the motorways are the least congested roads. To get to work, I use public transport because, although not desirable, I would prefer that than trying to navigate the congested streets of London. Also, the practice of commuting in a congested city using cars, mainly single occupancy, needs to be changed to improve the air quality vastly. Many people using their cars in London must not realise that London's public transport is a viable and better alternative, despite the bad press.
The motorist gets taxed pretty hard already and if this scheme goes ahead I hope the money is really used to improve public transport. I get a little tired of all those single occupant cars claiming they have no viable alternative - get a motorcycle and stop whining - you people are the real problem. It's cheaper as well!
To Simon Fowkes: I don't disagree with the idea of a ?5 toll for entering the city of London but it is not people's fault that all the jobs are located around London. Public transport is abysmal and expensive. Car has been described at the main element for independence as it allows freedom of movement.
I don't hate living in Euston, I just hate the amount of cars! - Ban all traffic from the centre of London is what I say! -That will make people use public transport, the increased money then could be used on improving it.
If more people rode motorbikes, rather than just seeing them as dangerous machines ridden by hooligans (which is not the case!), then congestion would ease considerably, fewer motorcyclists would be murdered by tunnel-visioned car drivers, and there would be no need to impose road tolls.
Brian W, UK
The UK government spends 1/5 of the revenue collected from motorists on road maintenance, so I think that it will be a big political mistake to introduce road tolls.
Very good idea, maybe it will discourage motorists using the car for school runs, going to the local shop for newspaper instead of walking etc...
But it would need a for reduction in the national road tax.
75% of the cost of petrol in the UK is tax. Add to that the cost of Road Tax at ?185 (average) a year. Where is the money going? Now we are expected to tolerate road tolls? What are the government thinking? Did they learn nothing about the tolerance level of motorists after last years Fuel protests? Doesn't look like it, does it?
So let's get this right. They want to put tolls on roads but not spend the money on improving public transport. They want to discourage motorists from using their cars but do nothing to provide an alternative! It's just thinly disguised preparation for another grab at our wallets, for which, we will get back precisely nothing.
Paul R, UK
Road tolls would be OK if road tax was abolished. Also, there would be no need for road tolls if the revenue created by fuel taxes and road taxes were spent on improving our roads systems instead of being used on other things like Euro MP's luxurious lifestyles. Tolls would certainly not help reduce traffic congestion and environmental pollution. The only way that they can be improved is by a public transport system that works and is reliable and cheap. A great deal of congestion and pollution could be avoided by re-directing road freight onto the railways.
You cannot introduce road tolls unless there's an alternative. With the current Thames Trains and tube service I cannot get into London with a pram without going in my car. My husband can only get to work by travelling down the M4 every day. The only available public transport takes nearly 2 hours (on a good day). Give us reasonable alternatives before making us pay to use the roads.
If road tolls were used properly (That is to ensure the stretch of road they are on is one long line of undamaged tarmac with no road works every month) then I would probably pay as long as it wasn't too expensive. In France the toll roads are completely untouched by road works and the congestion they cause and I've heard they are wonderful to drive on.
This is just another tax. If the Government was serious they would reduce vehicle road tax and let the individual decide if they wished to pay it back by entering cities or by using busy road networks at peak times.
Well this tax exists in almost every country in the first world and I think it's a good idea. Everybody wants to drive safely and arrive at a destination as short as possible. Why shouldn't we have to pay for all this luxury? You won't get much for nothing, do you?
Steve West, UK
To Guy Chapman You continue to spread the lie that asthma is somehow related to car usage. There is now overwhelming evidence that this is not the case. Chief amongst this is the higher incidence of asthma in rural areas, compared with towns, and the fact that it has not decrease in the last 10 years despite a something like 75% reductions in toxic / particulate emissions from vehicles.
If I had a sickly child I would want to blame it on something. Something has changed in the last 30 years that has caused this epidemic (maybe changes in diet, maybe allergens from the cat population (which has doubled over this period), maybe a virus, we don't know). Continuing to try and link it to car usage will only delay discovery of the real cause and result in more suffering.
Congestion charging is essential - whatever people say, public transport could be free and abundant and they would still use their cars. Our towns and cities are choked with single-occupant cars and as long as people see car travel as costing only the price of the fuel in the tank this will continue. Diseases like asthma and emphysema are on the rise in urban areas due to pollution, and people are dying from heart disease because they use cars for journeys as short as a few hundred yards. At the moment it's the environment that pays when people drive in town - tolls could change that for the better.
All road tolls will do is keep the poor from using the road and allow the rich to speed about in their big fast cars. Further, it is about time the government operated a fully transparent policy on its allocation of taxes. It is important they convince (through fact, not spin) the tax payer that they really are making optimum use of existing revenue before they ask for any more.
I don't think tolls are a good idea at all. I don't earn that much, yet I am forced to use my car to get to work. The trains from my home town go the wrong way for where I work, and buses take 3 times as long as the car, through every little village on the way, and are subject to the same congestion as the car in the morning. I have noticed, however, that during school holidays my journey time is cut by half. Perhaps some of our already high car-related taxes should be ploughed into not only better, viable, alternative public transport options, but increasing school bus services. It would also help if employers and businesses were more flexible instead of sticking rigidly to a 9-5 structure.
Richard Philips, learn the facts before you put something down in writing. At present, we pay ?38 billion in car tax and fuel tax. If we were to assume that 1% of this is from car tax (even though the figure is substantially higher) that would give ?380 million to be spent on our roads. Apparently, ?12 million was spent on our roads last year. Where did the rest go? How has the government (or the London Mayor) got the cheek to charge us twice for the same thing?
The road tax has not increased sufficiently to cover road building/repair. Therefore another form of tax is required to fill the shortfall. A road toll is an option i.e. collect money off the people who are actually using the roads. I would have thought that the cost of implementing this would be rather excessive, not too mention the administrative effort behind it. Much more simple to achieve the same thing by adding yet more tax to petrol. That way the existing infrastructure/administration won't change, the government will get their funds and its up to Joe Public whether he drives around in his own car or not. This will provoke more efficient cars and shared lifts with the added benefits of more space of the roads and less pollution.
Encourage the setting up of searchable websites for drivers to find passengers and passengers to find drivers to share the cost. Hopefully if that works, it will help.
But please, stimulate co-operation by providing supporting infrastructure to achieve desirable goals.....
Merlin, Czech (Formerly UK)
If they actually reduce car usage the amount of money collected through car tax and fuel duty will also drop.
So, if by some fluke, this idea does work, not only will the government charge us to use the roads, they will have to tax us more to make up the shortfall.
Road tolls are everywhere in South Florida - it can cost you $4 to travel 40 miles. But the roads are still congested, at the wrong time that same 40 miles can take you 2 to 3 hours.
Tolls will have next to no effect on congestion, it needs something radical and a major philosophy shift. Make public transport free - it can never be clean, reliable and efficient and profitable all at once. So take it out of private hands and divert all the road maintenance/road tax funds to supporting it. Introduce road tolls by all means and use the revenue to fund public transport.
Bad idea! I live near a recently built toll highway that was subsequently sold by the Ontario government to a private consortium.
Since then, the already high toll rates have increased dramatically, much to the dismay of drivers.
To add insult to injury, the Ontario government also collects taxes that are supposed to go towards constructing and maintaining our roads and highways, so in effect motorists get hit twice.
I don't know how the British system works, however I suspect it's similar.
Are road tolls a good idea? No. It is a socially divisive measure forcing the less well-off members of society off the roads.
Speaking from my own experience, most of the congestion I experience is caused by the school run and the introduction of tolls is unlikely to make much difference because I would have thought the typical school run is a relatively short journey and you would have to charge prohibitive tolls to force these people off the road.
As a Londoner without a car (and we are in the majority here) I feel there should be a toll just for entering the city. Why should people be allowed to come in, gas us, treat our neighbourhoods like car parks, then leave.
I couldn't care less about the whinging of motorists, they should understand London was not built for the car, we don't have grid pattern roads as they do in America, public transport has to come first. And its not just about in getting from A to B, in between that journey they're passing through neighbourhoods and effecting peoples lives.
As far as I'm concerned they should be made to pay whatever amount is set.
If it puts a halt to the 'school run' I'm all for it.
The money should be used for 'public transport'. Also penalise any vehicle with one occupant driving into or out of a city during the rush hour.
Here in Nottingham they have the right idea. Roads, buses and trains into the city are extremely crowded with all the commuters, so they are building a comprehensive tram network to offer a better alternative. This will definitely bring me off the roads.
Roads are there to be driven on, and in the case of commuter journeys there will always be congestion since cities like London are too big for their own good, and the road networks and infrastructure are woefully inadequate. Reliable and affordable public transport would help though.
The main reason major roads were built was to take the traffic away from built up areas. If road tolls are introduced, many people will revert to using the minor roads thought the towns. The main effect of this will be only people with money will use the major roads. Perhaps that's what Mr Blair wants, to make it quicker for him and his high-paid friends to be able drive around more easily...
The government already taxes motorists an enormous amount via vehicle tax and the highest fuel duty in Europe but only a small fraction of the revenue generated goes into road investment. I cannot see any justification for making motorists pay even more without there being any affordable and convenient alternative forms of transport available. Public transport in many areas of the UK is simply a joke.
I do not think five pounds is enough, (people will just pay it)
should be at least ten pounds per day... perhaps less though for people who actually live in London.
I am sick of people commuting into London with there car, polluting this wonderful city, then going back to their leafy suburb.
If it was up to me, I would ban all non essentially traffic from the centre of London, people can bike or take the bus/tube and while at it, bring back the trams...
I was in Amsterdam recently, what a difference in the quality of life they have, just down to the lack of cars in the centre of the city.
I paid VAT on my car when I bought it. I pay road tax and tax on my insurance premiums and fuel excise duty every time I buy more diesel. I pay more VAT when I have the car repaired or serviced. Often those repairs are to damage caused by debris kicked up from poorly maintained roads. As far as I'm concerned I pay more than enough already and any attempt to penalise motorists with road tolls canot be justified. No doubt at some stage this forum will be crowded out by smug cyclists. If any one of them can explain how I can get from one end of the country to the other on a bike in a few hours I'd be fascinated by their response. If any of them can name one person that enjoys sitting next to a sweaty cyclist at work all day I'd be grateful too.
I thought that was what we paid road tax for. I wonder just how much of the revenue that is collected from road tax is actually spent on our roads?
I have a very pleasant twenty minute walk to work in the morning. People I work with who live closer than me drive every day and cannot understand why I walk. Introducing road tolls will not solve the basic problem of lazy and selfish people who want to use their car for every journey they make, however small.
I don't think road tolls are a good idea. We need to improve public transport to persuade people out their car to use public transport.
If Simon hates living in Euston so much, he should move. After all, that's the same solution offered by the Greens to those who object to using the dire public transport "system" in this country,
Road tolls will do nothing to discourage drivers from driving until there are acceptable and practical alternatives. As others have pointed out, this is yet another tax in disguise. That being the case, why not introduce a yearly motorway 'vignette' sticker like the one we have in Switzerland?
Peter, London, UK
Road tolls are a very good idea, and hopefully the monies gathered will be transferred directly to the government departments involved- transport and the environment, and protected from the Whitehall leech. However, they should correspond to the type of vehicle used. Farmers' tractors and agricultural machinery, which cause immense damage to the roads, and are a terrifying danger and inconvenience to motorcyclists, cyclists and other motorists, should pay the highest rate, hopefully discouraging them from travelling so much. HGVs should be next, followed by PCVs and then cars and motorbikes. Vehicles carrying more than one person should receive a reduction in tolls. HGVs should also be penalised for all urban journeys, including deliveries.
Who are these government advisors? More of Tony's cronies?
If they are not going to improve public transport where will this money from tolls go exactly?
The government get it wrong yet again. Zero out of ten for effort. Do not pass go, yet still collect ?200.
Richard Greaves, UK
Trying to stop congestion by introducing road tolls is like putting out fire with petrol. It will cause increased congestion. I could have advised that to the government for free!
I don't agree with road tolls for two reasons. Firstly, the money generated would not be ploughed back into the roads. The AA have brought to our attention that there are millions of pounds generated from road tax but only a small percentage of this actually goes into the roads. When road tax was first introduced, all the money generated was spent on the roads. Secondly, how will they help congestion, the price of petrol goes up and people still drive, they just have less money in their pocket. And let's face it, another charge doesn't mean that much to a nation who are being constantly ripped off. Besides surely the queues at the tolls will cause congestion. The worst case scenarios is that people will take alternative minor road routes increasing the level of traffic on roads that are not fit to cope with it and that run through residential areas.
Then let all those who ''pinpoint'' introducing road tolls as the ''only'' way to cut traffic congestion pay for it, too! Why should we pay for a solution which has proved to be ineffective in other European cities?
I think road tolls are a good idea, especially in a country as crowded as ours. But, to persuade motorists of the merits of tolls, and to defend themselves against the charge that they are simply out to get more money out of us, they should make the change revenue-neutral: reduce road and car tax by the same amount.
It is more efficient, in an economic sense, to tax the use of roads - especially busy ones - than to tax people simply for owning cars.
I don't understand why tolls should decrease road usage when public transport isn't improved. People in general still have to make their journeys, whether they pay a toll or not, and if public transport is not improved, they have no choice but to use the roads.
Congestion is good. It lowers average speed and helps prevent accidents. Eventually some commuters get so cheesed off they go to work earlier, move home, change jobs, go by train and take a conscious choice to avoid the roads. Theoretically in our computer and telephonic based society most jobs can be done anywhere in the country. So why are they always stuck in city centres in South East England? If the Government really wishes to prevent road congestion they should provide incentives for firms to move to places such as Cornwall, Northern Ireland, Northumberland etc.
As I already pay for the roads in fuel tax and road tax and
believe it or not council tax (which in my town, Dundee, is highest in
Scotland) why should I pay tolls?
Maybe if public transport was as good the rest of Europe, I would
pay, but I know for sure 'two jags' will buy another jag and he will never
pay road tolls, or MPs will get another 26 percent wage rise.
Oh what fun! So I'm going to end up having to pay to use the roads because there is NO public transport in the area I live.
I would quite happily use buses if they were available but the village I live in has three a day, two going in one direction one going the other, and at times, that means I couldn't get to work.
If they plan on introducing this they need to think of areas outside London as the UK doesn't stop outside the M25.
I would be delighted to pay a reasonable toll to drive to work on the motorway every morning, if it forced a few people into either talking a different route or driving at a better time (for example getting lorries off the road during rush hour would make a huge amount of difference to traffic). I would also be delighted to use public transport every day, unfortunately at the moment, that would involve three buses and a train and would triple my journey time, however the improvement of the buses at one end of this journey would make this a worthwhile alternative - it wouldn't take much but unfortunately no one seems willing to take that step.
I like many other people do not enjoy sitting in traffic jams; Unfortunately there is no alternative for me. Me and many other people I know would gladly use public transport to get to work, but it is not an option in my job. Perhaps the government should try encouraging people to work from home for a couple of days a week. In addition, if the government encouraged the public to start and finish work later in the day then peak traffic flows would not be such a problem.
If they are set at a sensible level and road tax is eliminated then it could work and still be popular. In the US you can drive 150 miles or more on some toll roads and still get change out of $10. Some bridges have a toll of 50 cents or $1. Charging is simple - you take a ticket when you join the road and pay when you leave. Tolls are low enough that it's barely worth evading them, especially when if you don't mind a lower quality road you can avoid them anyway. I expect our government will set the tolls high, keep road tax just to punish people who don't drive much, not put the money back into transport and then wonder why people try and evade them.
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