Road Pricing: another "Flagship" policy finally sinks

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Blogg, Mar 3, 2010.

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  1. What a surprise. Might almost think there was an election sometime soon

    Motorists' victory as Government drops plans for local road pricing scheme

    "Ministers have dropped proposals for urban congestion charging across the country, in what will be regarded as a victory for motorists.

    It follows the Government's abandonment of a proposed pay-as-you-drive national road pricing scheme.

    But the aborted congestion chargning policy has still cost the taxpayer £41.7 million, triggering accusations from opposition politicians of incompetence.

    The final surrender of one of Labour's flagship policies will be hailed by drivers who could have faced bills of at least £20 a week to drive to work into some urban parts of the country.

    As a result, only drivers in London and Durham will face a congestion charge of any sort for the foreseeable future.

    Proposed schemes for Reading and Cambridge – the only remaining candidates – are now expected to be discontinued following the overhaul of the Government's "congestion busting" Transport Innovation Fund, which was only open to councils willing to introduce some form of local road pricing.

    Now, under plans announced by Sadiq Khan, a transport minister, councils will no longer have to bring in tolls to receive a slice of the rebranded Urban Challenge Fund.

    Instead they will only have to demonstrate that their transport strategies will cut congestion - even without charging - by promoting alternative modes of transport."


    Motorists' victory as Government drops plans for local road pricing scheme - Telegraph
     
  2. Maybe the money saved will be used to repair the roads around the country.
     
  3. Apparently on production of your biometric identity card, the council must immediately repair any road-blemish within 100m!
     
  4. What an odd form of government when all it can think of to do is to punish, punish, punish the very people who elect them to office, the mind just boggles, roll on May.
     
  5. First NuLiabor promises to tax foreign trucks on UK roads.After spending £50Mil +,that is dropped,and now this.It seems that NuLiabor have not got a clue as to how to proceed.many european countries have solutions that work(at least they take their money off hapless foreign drivers).How is it that we are unable to implement a simple system on foreign trucks,when are trucks are taxed almost everywhere in Europe?
     
  6. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    As to Cambridge, one predictable effect would be /would have been (fingers still crossed on this one) to charge everyone visiting a patient in Addenbrooke's (and that's before they pay for the parking). As Addy's takes in patients from far and wide rather than being a local DGH, that would be/have been quite an earner.
     
  7. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    Lorry Road User Charging (LRUC) was supposed to even out the fuel price differential which disadvantages UK road hauliers when compared to their foreign competitors. It was shelved in favour of an all-vehicles, all-roads, all-the-time solution that was to have been a world first just at the point that a deployment was to have been announced. I know some very senior and expensive people who burned a LOT of midnight oil on LRUC proposal documents.

    Trouble is, deployment costs. We've had study after study, costing millions, into road pricing but, as someone with knowledge of Westminster and the project once said to me, that money has to be seen in political terms: a few 'wasted' millions actually stalls a deployment decision potentially costing billions.

    The schemes on the continent target heavy goods vehicles travelling on strategic roads. This is an attempt to claw back some of the money needed to maintain and repair those roads used by transiting vehicles from other countries. The technology for LRUC is there. It works and is relatively old hat. But if we were to do anything we'd probably 'need' another study.

    LRUC has now been written out of history by New Labour as unnecessary as we're not a transit country like, say, Germany, Austria or the Czech Republic. The point is, it was never about us being a transit country. It was about the fuel differential.

    Road User Charging (RUC, or all roads/vehicles/all the time) is actually a sound concept. It is intended to even out demand on the network and smooth flows. And it can do that. The problem is, to be fair and avoid being seen as just another tax, reductions/adjustments are needed in fuel and vehicle excise duties (as the Dutch are looking to do with their proposed national scheme - which, nevertheless, is still facing opposition).

    Trouble is, we had Mr Brown in Number 11. Mr Avarice. And, after years of suggesting by omission that that fuel/vehicle tax reductions would be introduced as a part of a wholesale review of motoring taxation, when RUC was finally announced in a policy paper there was an attempt to bury the fact, by putting it many pages into the report, that it would indeed be just another additional tax - there was to be no review. Which killed things dead. Which, looking back, was probably the intention - the government gets to do nothing but can blame public inertia/indifference while still claming to be environmentally aware.

    Believe me, there was much gnashing of teeth among transport professionals in this country when that happened.

    But one can look back across all our infrastructure since Blair got in until now. Energy generation, transport... in the military sphere, how many capital projects are late or about to be binned? We've had 13 years in which remarkably little has happened.

    Review after review just kicks a deployment decision into the long grass and someone else's electoral cycle. This bunch are past masters at it.

    Do I win £5 for my essay? I'll declare it - honest.

    (Edited once for grandma)
     

  8. Can the council mongs explain how the heater or air con in my car will work with the engine off?
     
  9. I suppose that they'll just have to make-do with the £47-billion per year that they already steal from the motorists then...
     
  10. Road pricing was shot dead by the people of Manchester in 2008. Some cnut decided to use the M60 as a congestion charging malarkey. In the referendum all 10 councils gave it the rods. Apparently it was the end of Greater Manchester, which it wasn't.
     
  11. I can't believe that more airtime isn't given to such issues. The idea that the council is able to create laws and send its employees out to enforce them on-the-spot - indepedent of the police or courts - is nothing short of terrifying.

    We really are moving, one step at a time, towards the picture painted in 1984.