With all this in mind, Edmund King, Executive Director of the RAC Foundation, spoke at the British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference in London yesterday. His proposal to replace the current road pricing system is called "UK DriveTime" and King said "the Government must start marketing road pricing as a solution to real problems, not just as another way of raising revenue from the road user."
Part of King's idea is simple branding. Instead of focusing on the boring idea of road pricing, the UK DriveTime product is a "package of solutions that motorists actually want."
Drivers would want to pay for UK DriveTime because it would provide them with:
- reduced fuel duty
- congestion avoidance systems
- up-to-date parking information
- cheaper insurance
- e-call technology, which pinpoints the car and calls the emergency services in the event of an accident.
"Essential steps to tackle congestion include more flexible public transport, investment in better and safer roads, and a more intelligent use of the existing network," King said. "A voluntary scheme, like UKDriveTime, introduced over several years, would iron out problems with technology and allow motorists to get used to a very different way of paying for motoring. Cars are essential for daily life and will always be the most important means of transport. While pricing can influence the timing and routes of particular journeys, it must not be used to price people off the roads completely."
[Source: RAC Foundation]