Key Points:

Wellington Regional Council is investigating the possibility of charging motorists a congestion tax during peak hour travel.

A consultant's report found the system worked in other parts of the world, and could be successful here.

Regional councillor Terry McDavitt said "road pricing" was now on the agenda for the region, but any decision was at least five years away.

The issue will be discussed at the regional land transport committee meeting next week.

The congestion charge to drive into central London started off at $14 a day, is now $22 with speculation it will rise to $69 a day.

Singapore, Stockholm and Oslo operate similar schemes and the tax is likely to be introduced to New York.

Back here, Auckland is working on its own scheme and has commissioned feasibility studies.

The report, by consultants Sinclair Knight Merz, concluded that road pricing in the greater Wellington region would reduce congestion and be economically viable, while at the same time having minimal social and regional economic impact.

Mr McDavitt said traffic congestion would only get worse in the coming years in Wellington.

"Doing nothing is not an option," he said.

"We have to develop a range of measures to address congestion."

- NZPA