More drivers favour road chargesSupport grows for road congestion measures

27 June 2006

One in four motorists are now prepared to accept tough measures to tackle road congestion, according to the RAC.

But drivers are only prepared to accept road pricing - such as tolls or congestion charges - if their road tax is also cut or public transport is improved.

The RAC survey found that 79 per cent of motorists believe that traffic jams are increasing. The RAC says that support for the idea of road pricing has risen 6 per cent in two years to 25 per cent.

Benefits

The survey also showed that road pricing would be more popular if the technology used also offered motorists benefits, such as tracking if their car was stolen.

However 55 per cent of those polled considered charges for using town centre roads were unfair, as were higher charges for rush-hour journeys. And 57 per cent were opposed to charging for using motorways.

Some studies have suggested that drivers could be charged up to GBP 1.34 a mile on the busiest roads at peak times.

'Government must act'

Debbie Hewitt, RAC Managing Director, said: 'Motorists are sending a clear signal to government that road pricing is a more palatable solution than it has been for the growing problem of congestion - but they are looking to strike a deal.

'Government must act now to seize this opportunity to win over road users...but it is critical that policymakers adopt a fair basis for charging, review the impact on current motoring taxes and promote the technological benefits of a road pricing system for the idea to become a reality