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PAYD: Pay as you drive

Picture of the M6 motorway

I transferred a photo from my phone to my computer using Bluetooth the other day. Short range communication technology is more sophisticated now and has many applications. So called electronic or ‘smart’ number plates on cars isn’t a new idea, but could it be a step forward?

PAYD

We could have a true  PAYD (Pay As You Drive) system. We already have accounts for car tax so why not get rid of car tax and make it pay as you drive. With sensors recognising our cars when we drive down the slip roads of motorways and adding a small charge to our accounts. The same would apply when we drove onto car parks or into congested cities. I know this will horrify some drivers, but wouldn’t it make people think more about their travelling by car?

Travel to work

It would make travel expensive for those people who drive down motorways into congested cities to work. If the system was gradually introduced, sooner rather than later, people would adjust to the charges. There is already a congestion charge in London and that will be increased as time goes on and congestion gets worse. If action was taken now, perhaps it wouldn’t get worse. Companies might consider opening new premises in other cities and be drawn away from London.

Climate change

There are people that believe that the climate isn’t changing, some believe nature is infallible. It was after all created by a supreme being and so should be able to adjust to a the technological advances of man. In reality it doesn’t seem to be coping with the onslaught and so we must take climate change seriously and do something about it. That means less travel for everyone. This idea could help reduce travel by car and it could encourage travel by more environmentally friendly means. Free parking at some railway stations might be helpful.

Taxation

This would be a way of charging motorists for the roads and services that they use. Motorists already pay high taxes in the form of road tax, tax on car insurance and tax on fuel. These charges could be fairer, making the ones who use the roads the most, pay the most. If you were unemployed for a couple of weeks and not using your car, it would be much cheaper to run.

Technology

Companies in the UK would have to develop the technology to make PAYD workable, but they could then sell the technology and the idea to the world. What country doesn’t have roads and traffic jams? With computers knowing where all the cars are, could we use that to prevent traffic jams? Could we develop better technology and systems to communicate and integrate it into the system. We could perhaps get live traffic reports while we are driving and avoid traffic hold ups.

Comment

What do you think? Could Britain lead the world with a PAYD system? Could we trust our politicians not to make a hash of it? Please comment and share your thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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