Pay As You Drive plans praised

Pay as you drive plans could be the answer to all our road ills, according to a new Independent Transport Commission report.

Research suggests that charging motorists to travel would raise sufficient cash to fund improvements in infrastructure such as tunnels to speed traffic flows, resulting in fewer traffic jams, better roads and more public transport.

"I think charging is the best of a difficult bunch of policies. It really does improve the conditions on the road", said professor Stephen Glaister, one of the report's authors.

"It makes for a better quality of life and it provides some revenues which can be used to do things that local authorities like to do - like having new bus services, new trams, better railways", the professor of transport and infrastructure at Imperial College London told the BBC.

Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander has already declared his support for road pricing. A project to assess the technology that would be used to charge motorists by the mile has been given £10 million pounds of government funding.

A report in April from the ITC said motoring costs for some households could rise by as £20 a week if there was no cut in petrol tax.

Britain, unlike many other European countries, has only one major road where tolls are payable - a 50-mile stretch of the M6. Early indications are that traffic volume on that stretch has fallen by 15% in 2 years.


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