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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 June, 2005, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
At-a-glance: Road charge plans
The government is planning to replace road tax and petrol duty with road charging. Here is an outline of the key points of Transport Secretary Alistair Darling's plan:

  • Each driver would be charged for every mile of his or her journey.

  • Prices would start from as little as 2p a mile on quiet roads outside rush hours.

  • The maximum price would be 1.34 a mile on busy motorways like the M25 at peak times.

  • Current charges of fuel tax and road tax would be scrapped.

  • A pilot scheme covering a region or large conurbation could be operating "within five years".

  • If all goes well a nationwide scheme could be rolled out within 10 years.

  • A Department for Transport (DfT) feasibility study concluded last year that a national scheme had the potential to cut congestion by about 40% with "only 4% less cars using the roads".

  • The increasing use of satellite navigation kits in cars will be utilised, Mr Darling said.

  • He wants a decision on whether or not road pricing should be implemented "during the course of this parliament".

  • Mr Darling said new technology was already being used to "better manage roadspace" - for example a new system of "traffic management " on the M42.

  • He highlighted an insurance company's decision to pilot a pay as you drive car insurance which makes use of a satellite box in the car.




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