New Per-Mile Driving Tax in UK

June 6, 2005

Prompted by fears of rising traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, the UK has proposed a new per-mile driving tax that would track drivers’ movements via sattelite GPS:

British motorists face paying a new charge for every mile they drive in a revolutionary scheme to be introduced within two years.

Drivers will pay according to when and how far they travel throughout the country’s road network under proposals being developed by the Government.

Each of Britain’s 24 million vehicles would be tracked by satellite if a variable “pay-as-you-drive” charge replaces the current road tax.

Economists have long advocated road pricing as a solution to traffic congestion. But does a per-mile driving tax qualify? Perhaps not, say critics, since drivers will be charged the tax regardless of whether they drive on empty or congested roads:

Northumberland County Council leader Coun Bill Brooks said he was against road charges in rural areas where there is little or no congestion… “There is very little congestion of any kind in Northumberland.”


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