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Government scraps black box road charging

Date: 02 March 2007

The Government has backtracked on the way it plans to implement a policy of road charging on our nation's roads.

According to The Times newspaper roads minister Stephen Ladyman has confirmed road charging using sophisticated black box trackers has been axed because of a "privacy problem", referring to the huge public outcry over the Government being able to track its citizens while they drive.

Instead, a system mimicking London's zonal underground will be implemented. Whole areas will be in charging zones that increase in value as you drive towards the centre.

The minister believes this zoning will solve the problem of those driving longer routes to avoid charging and those using residential areas as rat runs.

Instead of sophisticated vehicle trackers, cars will instead be fitted with windscreen-mounted smart cards that will automatically debit your account once detected by sensors. A similar system already operates on European toll roads.

Ladyman confirmed lowering fuel duty and road tax to compensate for the road tax and that charging could also be dependent on how polluting a particular car is.