If you were drawing up a list of the top things that motivate people, one of the leading contenders would have to be money. It is one of the few things that can quickly and drastically change people’s behaviour – and drivers provide a great example of this.

If you look for instance at vehicle demand; changes to taxation are in many cases changing people’s buying habits.

It is really clear that the most efficient vehicles are also the most cost effective and consumers concerned about costs are opting for low CO2, high mpg models as a way of making ongoing cost savings.  

Under this backdrop, it is no surprise that any posturing towards road pricing schemes meets with widespread disapproval.

Recently, Government plans for a second UK toll road near the M4 in South Wales have come under attack. At a time when motorists already feel like they are paying over the odds, they don’t want to pay more, even if they can afford to.

Many point to the M6 as an example of where a toll road doesn’t necessarily have the desired effect.

The road is often underused as drivers avoid it for alternative routes. The upshot is that congestion is simply moved from one place to another and motorists are potentially driving extra miles to get to their destination.

There is also a view that drivers are paying more but receiving less in return. While driver costs are increasing, conversely the condition of roads across the UK seems to be getting worse as potholes become more common, as do the costs of damage caused by them.

However, no matter how loud the opposition to road charging, it is questionable as to whether it can be held at bay. There is widespread precedent around the world of charging schemes that are in place – many of which are deemed to be a success.

What’s more, the additional pot of money that charging generates is not just desirable for the Government, but probably essential.

While we don’t know exactly when or where, an increase to road charging schemes is probably on the horizon and it’s just something that we will have to deal with.

However, the Government must think carefully about where it reinvests what it earns because if drivers are paying more they must see benefit – in particular through the road network and improved infrastructure.