Pay as you go driving

Today, I chaired a national seminar on ‘Developing England’s Road Network’, which gave me a brief opportunity to mention road pricing, based on a report on ‘Pay as you go driving in London’ which the Greens on the London Assembly commissioned in 2011. Two of the country’s leading experts on transport recommended that London take advantage of new technologies like smart phones and GPS in order to charge for the use of the roads. It is more than possible to design a system that discourages traffic from using congested and polluted roads, or travelling on those roads at certain times of day.

The report adopted five key ingredients:
* A policy that reduces traffic volume to an economically efficient level
* A policy that meets with a degree of public approval
* A policy that has been shown to deliver results
* A policy that is widely seen as fair
* A policy that delivers a revenue stream that can be applied to all that needs to
be done to improve walk, cycle, public transport and the built environment
that supports these alternatives to the car.

Pay as you go driving is needed to sort out pollution and congestion. Most experts would welcome it, but we need politicians who have the counrage to take on the motoring lobby and deliver it.