County is picked to test road charging

A CONTROVERSIAL “spy-in-the-sky” road tax scheme to cut congestion will be tested out in Essex.

The Government is pushing ahead with a national road pricing plan and has appointed four firms to conduct tests on roads in seven areas across the country, including Essex.

The idea is for drivers to receive weekly or monthly bills, detailing where, when and how far they drove. Drivers on the most congested roads could be charged up to £1.30 a mile.

During the experiments, volunteer drivers will have their cars fitted with special a device which tracks their movements by satellite.

Ministers have suggested the possibility of replacing vehicle tax and even fuel duty with the money raised by a national pricing scheme.

However, Lord Hanningfield, leader of Essex County Council, said he would oppose the scheme unless it was centered around Stansted Airport, which he said was in desperate need of congestion-busting measures.

He said: “We haven’t approved this. I am not keen on road pricing. A lot of people are dependent on cars to get to schools. I am against charging people for just travelling on the roads.”

John Baron, Conservative MP for Billericay, said he was very concerned to hear road pricing could be introduced.

He said: “This feels like another stealth tax at a time when households are already being squeezed.

“There is also an issue of civil liberties. It’s like Big Brother when the Government starts knowing exactly where you’ve been in your car.”

Mr Baron also said he was dubious about the scheme, considering the Government’s bad track record with IT systems.

The Government first introduced the idea in 2004, and said it was considering introducing a “pay-as-you-drive” pricing scheme, with charges of up to £1.34 per mile.

Millions of people objected, with 1.8 million people signing a Downing Street e-petition against the proposal.

The four firms appointed by the Department of Transport to conduct the tests are Intelligent Mechatronic Systems, Sanef Tolling Limited, T-Systems and Trafficmaster.

Comments (20)

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6:54pm Mon 5 Jan 09

ShipShape says...

Political suicide. There'll be a very upset civil populace if this goes ahead.
Political suicide. There'll be a very upset civil populace if this goes ahead. ShipShape

6:59pm Mon 5 Jan 09

arram says...

This road charging scheme, does it mean that if I decide to visit friends in Bournemouth during the mid morning time, possible rush hours, I will have to pay £220 one way, they can't be serious. This will be the end of car sales, petrol sales will almost disappear, delivery companies will charge more for their goods the cost of living will go sky high, and government revenue will dramatically fall. This government is digging a hole so large...........
This road charging scheme, does it mean that if I decide to visit friends in Bournemouth during the mid morning time, possible rush hours, I will have to pay £220 one way, they can't be serious. This will be the end of car sales, petrol sales will almost disappear, delivery companies will charge more for their goods the cost of living will go sky high, and government revenue will dramatically fall. This government is digging a hole so large........... arram

7:13pm Mon 5 Jan 09

evilc says...

Take this as an example of 'We know what is good for you'that is exactly what Lenin said!

Despite all the objections these prats in control will continue to spend millions on this test.

Think about the logistics of a system like this the administration of the billing and the reliability of the sat nav system, also the continue change of ownership of vehicles AND who is actually driving the vehicle at the time!!

And this does not include the set up costs per vehicle.

The Big Brother mentality of a communist sytem is creeping in with this Governments hidden agenda!
Take this as an example of 'We know what is good for you'that is exactly what Lenin said! Despite all the objections these prats in control will continue to spend millions on this test. Think about the logistics of a system like this the administration of the billing and the reliability of the sat nav system, also the continue change of ownership of vehicles AND who is actually driving the vehicle at the time!! And this does not include the set up costs per vehicle. The Big Brother mentality of a communist sytem is creeping in with this Governments hidden agenda! evilc

7:48pm Mon 5 Jan 09

Bosniavet says...

I don't know what is worse, the fact that the government have decided Essex is a good place to test this scheme, or that some of my fellow countymen (& women)are willing to help them.
Road pricing is a good idea ONLY IF road tax & all petrol tax is abolished in favour of it, otherwise it is just another money-making "wheeze" by the exchequer. Also, how are they going to charge all the overseas registered vehicles for using UK roads when they cannot even penalise them for the traffic offences they already commit. If this scheme comes to fruition, there will be a massive increase in unregistered, cloned or illegal foreign vehicles here.
People of Essex, I beg you to refuse to take part in this experiment, you already know that the majority of the UK population do not agree with it.
I don't know what is worse, the fact that the government have decided Essex is a good place to test this scheme, or that some of my fellow countymen (& women)are willing to help them. Road pricing is a good idea ONLY IF road tax & all petrol tax is abolished in favour of it, otherwise it is just another money-making "wheeze" by the exchequer. Also, how are they going to charge all the overseas registered vehicles for using UK roads when they cannot even penalise them for the traffic offences they already commit. If this scheme comes to fruition, there will be a massive increase in unregistered, cloned or illegal foreign vehicles here. People of Essex, I beg you to refuse to take part in this experiment, you already know that the majority of the UK population do not agree with it. Bosniavet

7:59pm Mon 5 Jan 09

useful quote says...

This goverment is so laughable. No wonder we are where we are today. Its the workers that are targeted again.

Ill agree to these changes if and when they make public transport access able to every street 24 hours a day and stops increasing in costs more than my wages do.

I suppose that the people that are on benefits will get another mileage allowance to go and sign on, While the real hard grafters and the REAL BACKBONE of this country is targeted.

If I get made redundant due to this credit crunch, I see no benefits to me going out and earning a living or having a life. I think ill let everyone else pay for my rent, etc. Where is the insentive to work these days?

I have my kids that live 100 miles away, There is no direct transport link, it takes 1.5 hours to get there by car or it would take 3.5 hours and £96 each way by public transport.

Under this new scheme, where i travel 20,000 miles per year for pleasure purposes, (Seeing my kids, shopping visiting etc), The new tax would come in at around £27K per year alone if the price per mile was £1.35. That is more than my annual salary!!!!

Think someone has not done their homework again.

Typical money grabbing (International lap-dog to the rest of the world) goverment!!!!
This goverment is so laughable. No wonder we are where we are today. Its the workers that are targeted again. Ill agree to these changes if and when they make public transport access able to every street 24 hours a day and stops increasing in costs more than my wages do. I suppose that the people that are on benefits will get another mileage allowance to go and sign on, While the real hard grafters and the REAL BACKBONE of this country is targeted. If I get made redundant due to this credit crunch, I see no benefits to me going out and earning a living or having a life. I think ill let everyone else pay for my rent, etc. Where is the insentive to work these days? I have my kids that live 100 miles away, There is no direct transport link, it takes 1.5 hours to get there by car or it would take 3.5 hours and £96 each way by public transport. Under this new scheme, where i travel 20,000 miles per year for pleasure purposes, (Seeing my kids, shopping visiting etc), The new tax would come in at around £27K per year alone if the price per mile was £1.35. That is more than my annual salary!!!! Think someone has not done their homework again. Typical money grabbing (International lap-dog to the rest of the world) goverment!!!! useful quote

9:14pm Mon 5 Jan 09

bob7 says...

Depending on what time of day these charges will be made, they would cost me half a days wages every day that I work. I cannot get to work by public transport as it does not fit in with my shifts and I would not feel safe travelling home with all the drunks and drug users if t did.
Depending on what time of day these charges will be made, they would cost me half a days wages every day that I work. I cannot get to work by public transport as it does not fit in with my shifts and I would not feel safe travelling home with all the drunks and drug users if t did. bob7

9:37pm Mon 5 Jan 09

andywg says...

This does seem to be a case of the stick before the carrot.

Do they think the people who have to sit in the traffic jam from Progress Road to Rayleigh Weir or on the M25 actually want to be there?

Provide a viable alternative and people will use it. I know that I would use public transport if my journey to work did not take twice as long (and was more reliable - many buses between 6 and 7 just never came when I had to get a bus to a train station to get to central London).
This does seem to be a case of the stick before the carrot. Do they think the people who have to sit in the traffic jam from Progress Road to Rayleigh Weir or on the M25 actually want to be there? Provide a viable alternative and people will use it. I know that I would use public transport if my journey to work did not take twice as long (and was more reliable - many buses between 6 and 7 just never came when I had to get a bus to a train station to get to central London). andywg

11:27pm Mon 5 Jan 09

ftsefaller says...

Tradesmen excepted if people didn't insist on living so far from their place of work road pricing wouldn't be such an issue.

Work in London? Go and live there then, instead of whingeing on about rising rail fares etc. Some of you might even manage to pick up some culture instead of sitting night after night for hours in traffic jams trying to get home.

Perhaps a fairer way of road pricing would be by weight of the vehicle - after all it is the heavier vehicles that cause the most wear to road surfaces.

Something has got to be done about the traffic in the county. Everybody seems to want to attack road pricing - but I don't see any of these whingers offering an alternative...
Tradesmen excepted if people didn't insist on living so far from their place of work road pricing wouldn't be such an issue. Work in London? Go and live there then, instead of whingeing on about rising rail fares etc. Some of you might even manage to pick up some culture instead of sitting night after night for hours in traffic jams trying to get home. Perhaps a fairer way of road pricing would be by weight of the vehicle - after all it is the heavier vehicles that cause the most wear to road surfaces. Something has got to be done about the traffic in the county. Everybody seems to want to attack road pricing - but I don't see any of these whingers offering an alternative... ftsefaller

12:34am Tue 6 Jan 09

soul man says...

where does the last comment fella live, is he an east enders type, work ten feet from home, folk travel to work as this area is more residential than industrial, plus the moneies better, (in theory), its just another stealth tax that the local govt has to own up to, as for, less fuel or road duty, believe that if your stupid, they will NEVER relinquish the best tax, only add more on, or add a new one altogether, this idea, as ive quoted before, never believe a politician, their born liars
where does the last comment fella live, is he an east enders type, work ten feet from home, folk travel to work as this area is more residential than industrial, plus the moneies better, (in theory), its just another stealth tax that the local govt has to own up to, as for, less fuel or road duty, believe that if your stupid, they will NEVER relinquish the best tax, only add more on, or add a new one altogether, this idea, as ive quoted before, never believe a politician, their born liars soul man

9:30am Tue 6 Jan 09

shallotman says...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe MP's are excused the congestion charge in London. Welcome to all people are equal, but some are more equal than others.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe MP's are excused the congestion charge in London. Welcome to all people are equal, but some are more equal than others. shallotman

10:58am Tue 6 Jan 09

Soozie says...

I suppose that the people that are on benefits will get another mileage allowance to go and sign on, While the real hard grafters and the REAL BACKBONE of this country is targeted.


People on benefits should not be allowed the luxury of having a car.
I suppose that the people that are on benefits will get another mileage allowance to go and sign on, While the real hard grafters and the REAL BACKBONE of this country is targeted. People on benefits should not be allowed the luxury of having a car. Soozie

12:25pm Tue 6 Jan 09

ShipShape says...

ftsefaller wrote:
Tradesmen excepted if people didn't insist on living so far from their place of work road pricing wouldn't be such an issue.

Work in London? Go and live there then, instead of whingeing on about rising rail fares etc. Some of you might even manage to pick up some culture instead of sitting night after night for hours in traffic jams trying to get home.

Perhaps a fairer way of road pricing would be by weight of the vehicle - after all it is the heavier vehicles that cause the most wear to road surfaces.

Something has got to be done about the traffic in the county. Everybody seems to want to attack road pricing - but I don't see any of these whingers offering an alternative...
I suppose you'd like a return to terraces built around t'mill?


Loser, face the real world, people need to commute.
[quote][p][bold]ftsefaller[/bold] wrote: Tradesmen excepted if people didn't insist on living so far from their place of work road pricing wouldn't be such an issue. Work in London? Go and live there then, instead of whingeing on about rising rail fares etc. Some of you might even manage to pick up some culture instead of sitting night after night for hours in traffic jams trying to get home. Perhaps a fairer way of road pricing would be by weight of the vehicle - after all it is the heavier vehicles that cause the most wear to road surfaces. Something has got to be done about the traffic in the county. Everybody seems to want to attack road pricing - but I don't see any of these whingers offering an alternative...[/p][/quote]I suppose you'd like a return to terraces built around t'mill? Loser, face the real world, people need to commute. ShipShape

12:57pm Tue 6 Jan 09

cococo says...

Thank you labour another sure fire vote loser.
I thought it was April 1st when i read story,its got to be a joke.
You you cannot be serious.
Thank you labour another sure fire vote loser. I thought it was April 1st when i read story,its got to be a joke. You you cannot be serious. cococo

1:58pm Tue 6 Jan 09

thelonewhinger says...

This is a really great idea! Just as we stockpile cars, motor manufacturers and garages go bust, more and more "safety" legislation is brought in and people need to travel to the 4 corners of the world to find work, the brains decide to raise some more cash from the Essex wealth capital - the motorist.

The way things are going we will all travel three to a bicycle and our train journey to work will be spent hanging on the side or sitting on the roof of the carriage.
This is a really great idea! Just as we stockpile cars, motor manufacturers and garages go bust, more and more "safety" legislation is brought in and people need to travel to the 4 corners of the world to find work, the brains decide to raise some more cash from the Essex wealth capital - the motorist. The way things are going we will all travel three to a bicycle and our train journey to work will be spent hanging on the side or sitting on the roof of the carriage. thelonewhinger

3:01pm Tue 6 Jan 09

Bosniavet says...

ftsefaller wrote:
Tradesmen excepted if people didn't insist on living so far from their place of work road pricing wouldn't be such an issue. Work in London? Go and live there then, instead of whingeing on about rising rail fares etc. Some of you might even manage to pick up some culture instead of sitting night after night for hours in traffic jams trying to get home. Perhaps a fairer way of road pricing would be by weight of the vehicle - after all it is the heavier vehicles that cause the most wear to road surfaces. Something has got to be done about the traffic in the county. Everybody seems to want to attack road pricing - but I don't see any of these whingers offering an alternative...
Just to make you aware, I commute to London for work, through necessity, not choice like most people. I do not drive there, or use my car for business regular (I have been known to drive to London at weekends when public transport is unavailable, & usually share my car with at least 1 colleague). However, I do use the roads, pay my road tax & purchase fuel which is also heavily taxed. Pay as You Drive schemes are ok, if all other taxes are abolished, making them a very fair scheme whereby those who use the roads most, pay the most.
If you can let me know of a positions in Southend which pay me enough to stop my commuting (by rail) to London, or where I can find comparable, affordable housing, like my current home, near to the Square Mile, then I would be very interested.
[quote][p][bold]ftsefaller[/bold] wrote: Tradesmen excepted if people didn't insist on living so far from their place of work road pricing wouldn't be such an issue. Work in London? Go and live there then, instead of whingeing on about rising rail fares etc. Some of you might even manage to pick up some culture instead of sitting night after night for hours in traffic jams trying to get home. Perhaps a fairer way of road pricing would be by weight of the vehicle - after all it is the heavier vehicles that cause the most wear to road surfaces. Something has got to be done about the traffic in the county. Everybody seems to want to attack road pricing - but I don't see any of these whingers offering an alternative...[/p][/quote]Just to make you aware, I commute to London for work, through necessity, not choice like most people. I do not drive there, or use my car for business regular (I have been known to drive to London at weekends when public transport is unavailable, & usually share my car with at least 1 colleague). However, I do use the roads, pay my road tax & purchase fuel which is also heavily taxed. Pay as You Drive schemes are ok, if all other taxes are abolished, making them a very fair scheme whereby those who use the roads most, pay the most. If you can let me know of a positions in Southend which pay me enough to stop my commuting (by rail) to London, or where I can find comparable, affordable housing, like my current home, near to the Square Mile, then I would be very interested. Bosniavet

3:30pm Tue 6 Jan 09

Nebs says...

I think the principle behind this idea is that, with the growth in electric cars, the government are going to lose a lot of revenue from petrol tax. So they want to get a system in place so as they can replace fuel duty with pay-as-you drive.
Of course, they will sell it as "green", as anyone using a petrol car will pay the fuel duty and mileage charge.
They don't want you to drive.
I think the principle behind this idea is that, with the growth in electric cars, the government are going to lose a lot of revenue from petrol tax. So they want to get a system in place so as they can replace fuel duty with pay-as-you drive. Of course, they will sell it as "green", as anyone using a petrol car will pay the fuel duty and mileage charge. They don't want you to drive. Nebs

4:41pm Tue 6 Jan 09

ftsefaller says...

Whatever happened to people cutting their cloth? If it's too expensive then don't do it.

Road pricing will do wonders in stopping all those shoppers who insist on blocking the Dartford Crossing to get to Bluewater. If people really need to consume they should go to their local high streets - preferably on a bike.

Whatever happened to people cutting their cloth? If it's too expensive then don't do it. Road pricing will do wonders in stopping all those shoppers who insist on blocking the Dartford Crossing to get to Bluewater. If people really need to consume they should go to their local high streets - preferably on a bike. ftsefaller

6:49pm Tue 6 Jan 09

evilc says...

ftsefaller wrote:
Whatever happened to people cutting their cloth? If it's too expensive then don't do it.

Road pricing will do wonders in stopping all those shoppers who insist on blocking the Dartford Crossing to get to Bluewater. If people really need to consume they should go to their local high streets - preferably on a bike.

Bring back the square wheel then?

Lets all conform the party line than!
[quote][p][bold]ftsefaller[/bold] wrote: Whatever happened to people cutting their cloth? If it's too expensive then don't do it. Road pricing will do wonders in stopping all those shoppers who insist on blocking the Dartford Crossing to get to Bluewater. If people really need to consume they should go to their local high streets - preferably on a bike. [/p][/quote]Bring back the square wheel then? Lets all conform the party line than! evilc

8:18pm Tue 6 Jan 09

Winston Smith says...

More Totalitarianism from Nu-Liebour.
More Totalitarianism from Nu-Liebour. Winston Smith

7:34am Wed 7 Jan 09

Soozie says...

Bosniavet wrote:
ftsefaller wrote: Tradesmen excepted if people didn't insist on living so far from their place of work road pricing wouldn't be such an issue. Work in London? Go and live there then, instead of whingeing on about rising rail fares etc. Some of you might even manage to pick up some culture instead of sitting night after night for hours in traffic jams trying to get home. Perhaps a fairer way of road pricing would be by weight of the vehicle - after all it is the heavier vehicles that cause the most wear to road surfaces. Something has got to be done about the traffic in the county. Everybody seems to want to attack road pricing - but I don't see any of these whingers offering an alternative...
Just to make you aware, I commute to London for work, through necessity, not choice like most people. I do not drive there, or use my car for business regular (I have been known to drive to London at weekends when public transport is unavailable, & usually share my car with at least 1 colleague). However, I do use the roads, pay my road tax & purchase fuel which is also heavily taxed. Pay as You Drive schemes are ok, if all other taxes are abolished, making them a very fair scheme whereby those who use the roads most, pay the most. If you can let me know of a positions in Southend which pay me enough to stop my commuting (by rail) to London, or where I can find comparable, affordable housing, like my current home, near to the Square Mile, then I would be very interested.
I think most people commute to London for work out of necessity - not choice as you say.

I certainly could not work locally and earn enough money to pay the bills.

I'd love to work locally and save money on the train fares and/or car use and get out of bed at a human time rather than the 4:45 am I currently do.

[quote][p][bold]Bosniavet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ftsefaller[/bold] wrote: Tradesmen excepted if people didn't insist on living so far from their place of work road pricing wouldn't be such an issue. Work in London? Go and live there then, instead of whingeing on about rising rail fares etc. Some of you might even manage to pick up some culture instead of sitting night after night for hours in traffic jams trying to get home. Perhaps a fairer way of road pricing would be by weight of the vehicle - after all it is the heavier vehicles that cause the most wear to road surfaces. Something has got to be done about the traffic in the county. Everybody seems to want to attack road pricing - but I don't see any of these whingers offering an alternative...[/p][/quote]Just to make you aware, I commute to London for work, through necessity, not choice like most people. I do not drive there, or use my car for business regular (I have been known to drive to London at weekends when public transport is unavailable, & usually share my car with at least 1 colleague). However, I do use the roads, pay my road tax & purchase fuel which is also heavily taxed. Pay as You Drive schemes are ok, if all other taxes are abolished, making them a very fair scheme whereby those who use the roads most, pay the most. If you can let me know of a positions in Southend which pay me enough to stop my commuting (by rail) to London, or where I can find comparable, affordable housing, like my current home, near to the Square Mile, then I would be very interested. [/p][/quote]I think most people commute to London for work out of necessity - not choice as you say. I certainly could not work locally and earn enough money to pay the bills. I'd love to work locally and save money on the train fares and/or car use and get out of bed at a human time rather than the 4:45 am I currently do. Soozie
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