The British government is planning to make all publicly funded research freely accessible by 2014.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/15/free-access-british-scientific-research

“British universities now pay around £200m a year in subscription fees to journal publishers, but under the new scheme, authors will pay “article processing charges” (APCs) to have their papers peer reviewed, edited and made freely available online.”

This decision comes as a result of the Finch Report, which you can read here: http://www.researchinfonet.org/publish/finch/

From the Guardian article: “The Finch report strongly recommended so-called “gold” open access, which ensures the financial security of the journal publishers by essentially swapping their revenue from library budgets to science budgets. One alternative favoured by many academics, called “green” open access, allows researchers to make their papers freely available online after they have been accepted by journals.”