Fleet News

Motorists not put off by city centre toll charges

TRIALS of £10 toll charges for drivers coming into Leicester have failed to stop motorists heading for the city centre. The road toll experiment in the city has been running since last year, aiming to monitor the impact of urban road charging on incoming traffic flow.

Launched last summer, volunteer participants are given the choice of paying a fee to drive into the centre of the city or taking a high-speed bus from a park and ride at a reduced cost. Tolls are £5 between 7.30am and 8.30am and £2 during the rest of the day. However, for a week in February the peak time toll was doubled to £10. During this time the percentage of people using the park and ride bus service dropped from 29%, in the first half of the month, to 24%.

Jonathan Smith, of the Transport Research Laboratory, which designed the scheme and is researching its impact, said: 'We found quite a few people shifting route and going out of their way to avoid the tolls. We had thought people might switch the time of their journeys, but that did not seem to happen.'

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