Driver backlash against new government 'Pay-As-You-Go' policy
THE public has reacted negatively to the government's new
"pay-as-you-drive" transport proposals. An overwhelming eight out of 10 drivers say they oppose the new proposal by transport secretary Alistair Darling, according to a survey by motor insurance quote finder www.motorinsurance.co.uk.
Of the 805 drivers questioned, 77% would rather stick with current road tax and fuel duties, believing it to be a fairer system as it directly relates to the amount of miles driven and engine capacity.
Under Darling's proposed scheme, drivers are expected to pay a range of prices from 2p per mile to £1.34 a mile on the busiest roads, a pricing structure that the transport secretary himself admits will require a radical change from where we are now.
Per mile costs will be calculated using a black-box-style satellite system.
The survey respondents (7%) suggested this may encourage unscrupulous people to find ways of avoiding charges, by deliberately disabling its tracking technology. Moreover, a survey by Mori suggests 16% of drivers would actually refuse to have tracking devices fitted in their cars. 27% could be persuaded if it would help emergency services locate them after a crash. An additional 20% would gladly fit black boxes in their cars if they led to lower motor insurance premiums.
However, according to leading insurance broker A Quote, the insurance industry believes the new proposals could actually lead to increased insurance premiums. To reduce the amount they pay, many drivers are certain to drive out of rush hour periods. This will increase congestion in non-peak hours, and with more cars on the roads there will be more accidents and therefore more claims.
Ironically, the other likely effect of Darling's road pricing will be to reduce traffic during rush hours in major towns and cities. With traffic travelling more freely and faster, this too will cause more accidents, and claims.
Although Alistair Darling believes only half a percent of traffic would pay the maximum price,
the drivers surveyed were not convinced it would meet its aim of reducing road congestion. Only five per cent thought the government's proposal would reduce traffic and a mere 12 per cent believed it would work as part of an integrated transport policy, but would require heavy investment in public transport.
Andrew Dunkerley, Marketing Director of www.motorinsurance.co.uk, comments:- "The public isn't keen on the government's thinking on road pricing, as our new survey indicates. While we can't change government policy,
we can lower the overall cost of motoring."
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