Fleet News

Cities and towns turn the spotlight on their own congestion charges

DOZENS of towns and cities across the UK are considering introducing road charging schemes in a bid to tackle congestion.

It is the first step towards a national road pricing scheme that will charge motorists up to £1.34 a mile to travel on busy roads in peak times.

The Sunday Times reports that areas considering introducing charging schemes include Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Stoke-on-Trent and Shrewsbury.

The increase in towns interested in such schemes comes after Transport Secretary Alistair Darling announced he was releasing £18 million to fund feasibility studies into ‘schemes where pricing is a major element’.

Fuel and fleet management company Arval is calling on the Government to ensure any UK and European road charging schemes have a ‘consistent approach’.

Mike Waters, head of market analysis, said: ‘There is the need for UK schemes to be developed with reference to wider European initiatives.

‘The European Union has begun addressing the issue of ‘inter-operability’ of toll roads and road-pricing, with the long-term goal of ensuring that technology and systems correspond throughout the EU.

‘Multiple schemes across the UK could make any future process of co-ordination across the EU impossible.

‘Any future roll-out of demand management schemes or pilot road-charging schemes must involve standardised technology and administration.

‘Business cannot afford to absorb the increased costs that would clearly be a factor without a set of centrally defined standards.’

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