Fleet News

Leicester's trials give insight into drivers' reactions

ROAD tolling trials in Leicester have given the clearest indication of how motorists will react to congestion charges if they are widely adopted in cities.

The Leicester Environmental Road Tolling Scheme (LERTS) is one of the first 'real' road pricing trials to be undertaken in the UK, and is located on the A47 Hinckley Road Corridor, which is to the west of Leicester, and involves a number of volunteer commuters who regularly drive along the corridor into the city.

Research shows that charges of up to £10 failed to stop motorists using their cars to come into the city centre. A key feature of LERTS has been to provide an attractive public transport alternative to car travel, through better bus services and park-and-ride schemes. The city's experience has highlighted the need for alternatives to the car to be in place before motorists will consider leaving their cars, backed up by surveys of company drivers.

Launched last summer, volunteer participants have been 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 range from £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.

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