We’ve already heard about pay-as-you-drive insurance, but British Transport Secretary Alistair Darling announced today that he is considering a pay-as-you-go plan to ease congestion on some of England’s most heavily traveled roadways to avoid “LA-style gridlock.” The plan involves using satellites to track cars, which would have to be equipped with a “black box,” and charging the driver per mile traveled. Charges would range from 2 pence to over 1.30 pounds per mile.

Greenpeace UK had their own take: make the system scaled so that gas-guzzlers pay more than gas-sippers. They also expressed dismay that the charge might be a replacement, not a supplement, to existing road and gas taxes.

The plan is far from being implemented, though. The Observer cites experts estimating the system won’t be practical until 2014.

Personal privacy concerns are obviously relevant here. But I guess if you don’t like the idea of the government knowing where you are, you can just stop driving.

Update [2005-6-9 23:25:53 by Andy Brett]:
There have been some more articles at BBC news:
Road Charge Plans to be Outlined
Road Charge Helps Rural Drivers

The topic will also be featured on this week’s Talking Point; click here to send in comments and to watch the show after it airs on Sunday, June 12.

And the “you can just stop driving” line was intended to be a little more light-hearted than I think it comes across :)