Road tolls bear down on Londoners
With congestion charging just weeks away, Londoners could be forgiven for thinking the government would take it easy on them. But a new report recommends imposing tolls on roads near the capital would be the best way to tackle traffic growth.
The proposals in front of decision-makers at the Government Office for the South East, the body charged with solving the region’s growing traffic problem, focus particularly on the M25 orbital road.
It calls for a 3p a mile toll for all motorists within a 50-mile radius and the widening of the motorway to four lanes for at least half of its 120-mile length.
A system of traffic lights, known as " ramp metering " would regulate the flow onto the motorway.
The practicalities of charging motorists would be dealt with by satellite technology to monitor vehicle usage within the scheme’s boundaries. All profits from the £850m plan would be ploughed back into public transport.
A government report published in June concluded that if nothing is done to drastically reduce congestion, the M25 corridor will see a 33% increase in traffic by 2016.
But ministers have already said road tolls will not be introduced during this decade.