The UK Government's Transport secretary, Alistair Darling, has unveiled his proposals to reduce congestion on UK roads during a speech to the Social Market Foundation. The "pay-as-you-drive" initiative would use GPS satellite technology to charge motorists on the distance and time they travel.

The initiative, which could trial in five years, is not expected to be fully implemented until at least 2015. The scheme would charge varying rates for driving on different roads at different times, starting at just two pence per mile for country lanes but rising to 1.30 for the most congested inner-city roads.

A MORI poll found that 47 per cent of drivers were in favour of the scheme, which will aim to reduce traffic on heavily congested roads.