Midland motorists could face a bill of up to #600 to fit a "black box" to their vehicle under Government road pricing proposals, according to reports.
The computer system would be linked to satellites and allow authorities to track a vehicle's every movement. The system would allow motorists to be charged according to how far they travel, which roads they use and the time of day, according to details of the blueprint, which were drawn up by the Department of Transport.
Seven West Midland councils have drawn up proposals to introduce road pricing in the West Midlands, including a system using satellite technology to track vehicles.
The authorities, which include Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Solihull, Dudley, Walsall and Sandwell, concluded that this would be "most desirable economically" and the "fairest" road pricing system.
A similar system already exists in Germany where it is used to charge motorway users, the councils said. The scheme would need "appropriate and accurate satellite navigation systems" to be fitted to vehicles, the councils said.
But they warned that it was unlikely to be feasible until 2020 and a different scheme, using cameras to track vehicles by recording their number plates, should be used as a "stepping stone" in the meantime.
The proposals appear in a document called Gridlock or Growth published jointly by the authorities. Opposition to road pricing continued to grow yesterday when Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski (Con) launched his own online petition.
He urged residents to sign up against Shropshire County Council's bid to run a pilot charging scheme in Shrewsbury. Mr Kawczynski, who intends to present the petition to the Minister for Transport at the House of Commons, said he believed road pricing would damage tourism and industry.
He said: "There are serious issues regarding traffic levels and pollution in Shrewsbury and other British towns, but it is wrong to think that congestion charging is the answer.
"We need to look for innovative schemes to improve traffic flow and air quality in our town centre."
Guidance from the Department for Transport for councils applying to run pilot schemes warns them against offering discounts to residents, or to drivers with disabilities.
This contrasts starkly with the situation in London, which already charges motorists, where residents living within the congestion charge zone receive a 90 per cent discount.
The Shrewsbury petition was announced after it was revealed Tony Blair would write to more than a million people who have signed a national petition condemning road pricing.
More than 1.6 million people have added their names to the petition, which was started by Shropshire businessman Peter Roberts, from Telford, and appears on the Downing Street website. The deadline for signing expires today and then Mr Blair is to email signatories tomorrow in an effort to explain the Government's policy.
A report last week by the Commons Transport Select Committee warned road pricing was being forced on local authorities by Ministers.