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The question

Road pricing

Over the next few weeks the House of Commons Transport Select Committee is taking evidence on road pricing. What do you think?

Much as I like the present system from a personal point of view and as much as I avoid the M6 toll road just because I don't want to pay anything, I think it is fairer to road charge on a use basis. What people object to is double charging - road fund licence, taxes and then tolls.

The technology is now here with relatively simple on-board satellite navigation installed in every new vehicle, to start changing over to taxation based on usage and relative impact.

HGVs, with their high standard axle impact can then pay their share for knackering the roads.

Philip Norris, 59, managing director Tutbury The current suggestions seem over complex, expensive to install and operate, and will in the end only benefit IT companies, politicians and bureaucrats. It has long been a mystery to me why increases in fuel tax are not used for this purpose. It has the advantage that the legislation and collection mechanism is in place and it would cause those who use large vehicles and congested roads to pay more.

Dave Tomlinson, 59, manager, Argyll If the true purpose of road pricing is to pay the environmental costs then we should be charged for the amount we travel and the quantity of pollution our vehicles emit - not where or when we travel.

Charis Fowler, 32, senior engineer, Midlands Congestion charging only works if it stops people using their cars. Nice idea in London where the alternative of a finely-divided public transport network exists, but elsewhere it's too late. How can any public transport system ever hope to serve low-density housing suburbs and widely scattered business parks- Flexible working hours, as practised by the more enlightened employers, would be far more beneficial to everyone.

John Sreeves, 46, senior bridge engineer, Swindon Road pricing sounds the obvious solution - but only where a feasible alternative is available.

Living in Cornwall it is neither practical nor affordable for anyone in the private or public sector to provide a public transport system that alleviates the necessity of the private car.

The burden of further indirect taxation on travelling would only increase social exclusion and have catastrophic effects on individuals and their fragile local communities.

Rob Andrew, 39, engineer, Cornwall I would abolish vehicle tax, reduce fuel duty and switch to a road user mileage rate linked to location, travel time and vehicle type/engine size. No system is perfect but this is more equitable than the blunt instrument of fuel duty. The technology for road user charging has been proven in London so let's get on with it.

Simon Lawrence, 31, senior engineer, Cardiff Introduce congestion charges and reduce traffic in some areas, problems will increase elsewhere. Congestion charging will please some and annoy others; under the prevailing conditions panaceas can never be found.

Malcolm Millais, 64, structural designer, Matosinhos If you would like to take part in The Question send an email to:

bernadette. redfern@emap. com

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