Discuss the Pros and Cons of Implementing a Nationwide Road Pricing Scheme

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Discuss the pros and cons of implementing a nationwide road pricing scheme The introduction of a nationwide road pricing scheme has been extensively considered in the UK. Early deliberations in the ‘Smeed Report’ implemented road pricing in 1962 using a colour coding system. With computing and telecommunications changes in recent years there is potential for the road pricing scheme, which was a component of the labour manifesto in 2005 using satellite navigation to track vehicle activity, to be developed and implemented. The concept of introducing a market for roads through road pricing has become a highly discussed topic due to the complexity of the operation and how it could revolutionise the actions of drivers in the future with a…show more content…
People in a lower income bracket will be the ones who are hit hardest and have to change their driving behaviour as the road pricing is independent of income, exhibiting price inelasticity. This increase in inequality which could be a result of road pricing can be illustrated using the Lorenz curve which shows the distribution of wealth, with increased inequality leading to a shift away from the line of equality as shown by the arrow showing a higher proportion of income going to a smaller proportion of people. There is a correlation between work flexibility and income so people with less income will have to pay the peak time charges and the Lorenz curve will shift. As the main aim of the scheme is to reduce congestion people may feel as though they are being ‘Priced off the roads.’ The Gini Co-efficient shows distribution between households, it was recorded that following the London Toll introduction, the co-efficient increased from 0.2778 to 0.2785. Changes in road pricing have not been perceived well by the public in the UK. The scheme has been viewed as an invasion of privacy due to the tracking technology. After a referendum in Edinburgh ‘the widespread political opposition was reflected in the vote: 74% of people voted against the plan’. An online petition against road pricing was signed by 1.8 million people showing the depth of feeling against road pricing. However, with the highest fuel duty in the world being increased above inflation each year, UK
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