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Road charge plans to be outlined
Transport Secretary Alistair Darling has outlined plans to use road charges to reduce traffic congestion.
He has suggested using satellite systems to charge different rates to use different roads - from 2p a mile on country lanes to £1.30 in busy areas.
Mr Darling told the BBC that charging would replace road tax and fuel duty, and could cut congestion and prove cheaper for half of all motorists.
Motorists' groups have reacted angrily to the proposals, although a Mori survey suggests that only a small minority of drivers - 16 per cent - would refuse to have tracking devices fitted in their cars.
The transport secretary says the plans, which are unlikely to become reality before 2015-2020, are an attempt to prevent Britain's roads reaching 'gridlock'. He says the Government would not aim to raise cash, and could match the money gathered with reductions in fuel duty or the cost of the tax disc.
However, the plans have divided opinion.
The Mori survey suggested 34 per cent of respondents opposed the introduction of charges for driving on congested roads at peak times, compared with 47 per cent who supported the measure.
"Environmental campaigners have given the proposals a guarded welcome but motorist groups have expressed outrage," said BBC environment correspondent Richard Black. "Their opposition could be an obstacle to Mr Darling's plans, and making the technology work could be another."
To reas Mr Darling's speech in full go to: http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_roads