Pay-as-you-drive road taxes are being trialled by the Government, it has been reported. Several pilots are understood to be taking place across Britain and cars have been fitted with black boxes on their dashboard which can be tracked by satellites. This means their exact movements can be tracked and the Department of Transport is apparently appointing companies to carry out the schemes.
Members of the public will be asked to take part in the trials which could take place at some point between now and 2010. It is thought that the pilots would be carried out in about ten parts of the country.
The trials will mostly consist of a satellite tracking a vehicle's movements and motorists will then receive a monthly or weekly bill which will vary depending on when and where they drove. Around 100 people in each area will voluntarily sign up to the scheme and report back their experiences.
Labour has come under severe criticism for its plans to overhaul road tax and the Tories have warned that the 'spy in the sky' projects are will pave the way for a national road pricing programme.
Theresa Villiers, the shadow Transport Secretary, said: 'It seems that Labour's unpopular plans for a national road pricing scheme are alive and well. They are determined to press ahead with their untried and untested spy-in-the-sky national project even though it looks like an IT disaster waiting to happen. Ruth Kelly should start listening to drivers and scrap these pilots for a national road pricing scheme that is unnecessary and unwanted.'
...apart from the obvious "big Brother is watching" - isnt this already what happens with fuel tax?
The more you drive / the bigger your engine - the more tax you pay....