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UK government floats news ideas on traffic management. 20/2/04
British motorists could be given the choice of using free lanes on a motorway or paying for the use of additional lanes in the same road.

Government advisers have come up with the plan designed to deal with the problem of congestion following any new road-building. Road-widening schemes would be paid for by the private sector who would then be allowed to charge a toll for the use of the new lanes.

The plans have been generally well received by motoring organisations as a way out of the impending crisis caused by the lack of central funds for road building in the UK. A physical barrier would separate the 'free' from the 'tolled' lanes with a number of entry and exit points enforced by cameras.

Edmund King of the RAC Foundation said that, to make the system more politically acceptable, it might be necessary to allow high-occupancy vehicles to travel free on the tolled lanes. The proposals are part of the Labour Party's forward-looking strategy in the event they win a third term of office. No detailed proposals have been put forward on the technology needed to identify and charge motorists using the tolled lanes.

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