Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Road pricing - German style

The forthcoming German road pricing model is being studied by the UK government. The German system goes live on saturday, covering lorries over 7400 miles of road. The cost will be a function of size and emissions.

From the Telegraph: A typical four-axle cab and trailer unit will be billed £42 for the 353-mile trip between Cologne and Munich, equivalent to a journey from Manchester to Aberdeen.....Lorries will be fitted with cigarette pack-sized windscreen equipment that links with global positioning satellites to track the vehicle's progress. The number of motorway "segments" travelled can be checked by a separate network of roadside sensors.
The on-board unit receives both streams of data, calculates the relevant toll and triggers a payment demand from the central toll agency, where the vehicle's ownership details are pre-registered.

Drivers without an on-board unit are required to "book" their journey with the agency in advance, either on the internet or at one of 3,500 terminals installed at petrol stations and service areas.

Checks on possible toll evaders are made by number-plate cameras on overhead gantries and bridges, backed up by 300 mobile enforcement patrols that will operate 24 hours a day with powers to pull over suspect vehicles. Fines for non-payment will range as high as £14,000 for the most serious and persistent offenders.


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