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Wednesday, 18th March 2015 - 12:00

ITS United Kingdom Welcomes the House of Commons Transport Committee’s report on Strategic River Crossings

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ITS (UK), the Intelligent Transport Society for the United Kingdom, provided written evidence to the Transport Committee’s inquiry into strategic river crossings, and our Chairman Eur Ing Sharon Kindleysides attended the Committee hearings to give oral evidence.

We welcome the comprehensive and well argued report and particularly the recommendation that “As free-flow technology is implemented on more river crossings we believe that the Department must aim for total interoperability.  Now is the ideal time to act before a mix of different systems become ingrained on the road network...The Department should commission research into how best to introduce the technology needed for toll operators to create an interoperable system of payments.  That would be an ideal project for the Government’s Digital Service during the next Parliament.”

While the Report is supportive of the use of free flow tolling in the UK, as recently implemented at Dartford, it is a shame that there has been a misunderstanding about the rate of toll collection during the first month of that free flow system.  The slightly low (85%) collection rate during the first month was due to the policy decision to only do “soft enforcement” – advisory letters – to non-payers during that period, as part of the overall strategy for the new system.  There is now a full enforcement regime in place and payment rates are exceeding 90%.  Similarly, the criticism made by some witnesses that the change at Dartford was not well publicised, seems unwarranted in light of the extensive poster, media, and Twitter campaign which preceeded the launch of free flow at Dartford and continued for the first few months.

ITS (UK) welcomes the political interest in looking at different ways of financing our roads network, including exploring the use of road user charging technology, evidenced by this enquiry.

Ends

 

ENQUIRIES:

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Jennie Martin

ITS (UK)

Tel:

+44(0)20 7709 3003
Email:
mailbox@its-uk.org.uk

Notes to editors:

ITS UNITED KINGDOM, the UK association for the promotion of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), is a not-for-profit public/private sector association financed by members' subscriptions, and provides a forum for all organisations concerned with ITS. We work to bring the benefits that ITS can offer in terms of economic efficiency, transport safety, and environmental benefits to the United Kingdom - and at the same time expand the ITS market.  The term ITS covers the use of IT and communications technologies for surface transport applications. 

The membership, around 150 UK organisations, comprises Government Departments, Local Authorities, Police Forces, consultants, manufacturing and service companies, and academic and research institutions.

Members benefit from ITS United Kingdom activities including seminars, workshops and regular news dissemination. ITS United Kingdom encourages discussion on issues such as public/private co-operation, standards, legislation, information provision and new technology.

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