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UK-wide congestion charges ‘at least 10 years away’ says Government

The Government has revealed that any plans for the introduction of a national congestion charging scheme are at least 10 years away.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said a feasibility study into roads pricing is likely to be released later this month.

But he added that any plans to scrap road tax and introduce a pay-as–you drive system charging by the mile would take at least 10 years to implement.

Several groups, including environmentalists, motoring groups, economics and transport experts, have been assessing the impact of road charging and tolls for the forthcoming study.

A DfT spokesman says: “A panel of representatives will evaluate the feasibility of such a scheme but any scheme will be at least 10-15 years away.”

If a road charging system is introduced motorists would have a satellite-tracking unit installed their vehicle.

When using congested roads they would be charged for every mile they were on the road with charges varying depending on the type of road and the time of day.

Details of the study come as concerns have been voiced over plans to build a new toll road linking Birmingham with Manchester.

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling announced a new option for relieving congestion on the M6 linking Birmingham and Manchester last week.

The AA Motoring Trust supports the scheme in principal but wants existing road and fuel tax to be ring-fenced and reduced.

And the Confederation of British Industry says the move will be welcomed by businesses seeking shorter and more predictable journey times.

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