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London argues for inclusion in tolling interoperability directive. 21/4/04
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone has joined the debate surrounding the European Commission's drive towards tolling interoperability with an impassioned plea that cities should be included in any new Directive on the subject. The EC has so far focussed on inter-urban routes and insisted on the migration of all European electronic tolling systems away from DSRC to a satellite-based protocol.

"There has been some resistance to London's voice in Brussels," said Livingstone. "Road pricing is clearly the way forward in cities. London has built its system with the possibility of upgrading to other technologies. e are not resisting satellite technologies but it has to work."

TfL (Transport for London) is currently seeking to replace its ANPR-based system of congestion charging but was believed to have been examining digital and DSRC technologies. The 'canyon effect' of high buildings is likely to prove something of a hurdle to the adoption of a satellite-based system and there has therefore been some surprise at the approach being taken by the Mayor. He has, nevertheless, indicated that he intends to adopt the UK's national technology framework for tolling when this is published some time after 2010. The UK's Customs and Excise are believed to be looking at satellite technology for the LRUCS (Lorry Road User Charging Scheme) scheduled to go live sometime in 2008.

The EC PROGRESS Project is due to publish to reports on the practical implementations of tolling systems for cities and the social, economic and legal frameworks involved, this summer.

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