Charging motorists for each mile they travel is “inevitable” if future traffic gridlock is to be avoided, a report from the RAC Foundation said.
A “pay-as-you-go” system could be the answer to congestion, said the report from the foundation’s director Professor Stephen Glaister.
What was needed was a fundamental shift in the way England’s roads were managed and paid for, he said.
The launch of the report coincided with an Ipsos MORI report for the RAC Foundation which showed that 58 per cent of drivers agreed that a per-mile, pay-as-you-go system across all roads would make them think about how much they drive.
Prof Glaister’s report identified a series of problems facing road users and governments in the future.
These included a lack of vision for the road network, a 33 per cent increase in traffic by 2025 and reduced spending on road infrastructure because of financial and political constraints.
He said a system of charging motorists per mile travelled had to come with:
A governing body to develop and implement a long-term strategy for maintaining and enhancing the road network;
More reliable journey times and compensation for delays.
Prof Glaister said: “Some form of ‘pay-as-you-go’ system is inevitable because of the benefits it will deliver for motorists and the country, and the lack of a credible alternative.
“It is also telling that less than 1 per cent of those opposed to pay-as-you-go see invasion of privacy as a major reason for objection.”