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Half of UK road users support usage-based road charging

Charges should be spent on roads - survey

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A Department for Transport survey has found that more than half of UK adults believe that road charging should be based on usage.

The finding is revealed in the DfT's survey of public attitudes to road congestion, published on 26 August 2010.

Over four in five adults thought that congestion was a serious problem for the UK and nine in 10 said that it was important for the government to tackle the problem.

Any road charging scheme, the most high profile example of which is London's congestion charge, would involve the heavy use of IT for identifying vehicles and tracing their owners.

Almost half of adults said that money raised from a road charging should be spent solely on roads and transport while over one in 10 maintained that they did not agree with it under any circumstances.

When asked whether they would be prepared to accept road pricing as long as there was no overall increase in the amount paid by motorists as a whole, 38 per cent agreed while 34 per cent disagreed. Two years ago, 41 per cent agreed and 35 per cent disagreed.

"The department uses opinion surveys to provide up-to-date and reliable information on public attitudes to transport issues," said a DfT spokesperson.

"It has ruled out for the duration of this Parliament national road pricing on existing roads and any preparation for such schemes beyond that time.

"But for new infrastructure the government will consider all options for funding, including private sector investment and tolling."

The coalition's agreement said that it would work towards the introduction of a new system of HGV road user charging, which it believes will ensure a fairer arrangement for UK hauliers.

The department questioned 2,798 people about road charging between November 2009 and February 2010.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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