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UK Reports on Charging Technology 06/06/2003
The UK government has published the second of its progress reports on the proposed introduction of distance based charging for lorries in the UK, from 2006. The report favours the use of GNSS/GSM technology coupled with the use of ANPR readers for enforcement purposes.

The document, published in May, makes it clear that the government is anxious to avoid the charge of introducing an unnecessarily complicated procedure. Nevertheless, separate systems are proposed for occasional and frequent users.

While frequent users will be expected to obtain an on-board reader capable of receiving GNSS (Global Navigation Satelite System) location data and GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) communications, occasional users will have to purchase a ticket prior to travel.

Expected to be available either over the Internet or from EPoS (Electronic Point of Sale) machines, the purchase of a ticket will be registered on a central database. ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology will then be used to enforce non-compliance.

No decision has yet been reached on how the cost of the on-board units will be met but it is expected to fall on central funds. Tendering for the process is expected to begin later this year with the necessary legislative changes included in the 2004 Finance Act.
Author: Patrick Hook
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