Thursday, March 06, 2008

Drivers face a toll for life in the fast lane

There's some news coming out now on how UK Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly plans to turn the motorway hardshoulder into a pay-as-you-drive fast line in order to increase mobility and revenue, without spending too much to achieve it:

Drivers are to be given the option of paying to drive faster in extra lanes on up to 500 miles of Britain’s most congested motorways. The toll lanes, part of a government plan for road pricing, will have signposted speed limits 10 or 20mph faster than on adjacent uncharged lanes.

The lanes will be created from 2010, either by turning the hard shoulder into a running lane or by building an extra lane. Drivers travelling with at least one passenger may be allowed free access to some of the lanes but, on others, the Department for Transport (DfT) will make all vehicles pay to ensure that traffic flows freely.

Similar toll lanes are in use in America, where they have been dubbed “Lexus lanes” because of the perception that only wealthier drivers can afford to use them.

Read from The Times - 'Drivers face a toll for life in the fast lane'

Also, read commentary on this topic from The Register - 'Road charging, the sequel - Kelly unveils 'wired m-way' plans'

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