Vehicle Road Tax to be replaced by a pay by mile tax.

This concept (massive hike) will have a lot of unintended consequences. Firstly, moving people out of cities and towns, and building on the green belt (any longer) will not be popular, as people will see any savings on house prices wiped out by payments for travelling on essential journeys, whether to work, to buy food or whatever. It is the death knell for the out of town developments that only make sense if you have a car, or actually two per household as there is nothing within walking distance apart perhaps from an "experimental" corner shop. I can think of about ten new developments within six miles of me that are economically illiterate if the cost of driving a car for essentials and/or work doubles or more. Simply, nobody in the target income bracket could afford to live in them. some are only a few hundred houses but four are 1,000 plus and two of these are way bigger than that. The houses are not cheap for what they are and bearing in mind that many are a good distance from anything required to live unless the owners have access to two cars per house. They are cheaper than trying to live in the middle of the nearby cities.

Is our housing policy to squeeze even more people into the cities or to spread them out a bit? How does the transport policy assist this goal?

A knock on effect will be a reduction in the flexibility of labour. This will lead to lower incomes eventually as only those people within an economical commute will be able to afford to apply for jobs in their area. Look at the devastation of a number of industrial areas when e.g. "the mine" closed. I believe there are still places where one can buy a house for a pound as long as one agrees to live in it. If we get car taxes wrong the closure of mines and factories in specific areas will be as nothing compared to the economic disaster of huge swathes of housing becoming worthless overnight.

Such a policy will lead to greater concentrations in cities with a detrimental effect on the concentration of people into specific areas regardless of whether such areas are vulnerable to floods, global warming etc., or are suitable for greater concentrations of people (sewage system, roads (Ha ha ha) or other access, quality of life, pollution etc. etc.).

I applaud ventures that will be clean and green. Personally I'd like a bit more focus on pollution first. However, transport in over-crowded England (and UK), is a major planning issue as if it is got wrong for any reason, the economic damage will bring the country to its knees very quickly with a fall out that will have a swift "no-return" tipping point.

GH
And don't forget, we voted for this......didn't we?
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
I rather think that pandemic has changed the commute.

Only for some. I'm lucky in that I've been able to work from my garden bar/office for the past year. Once we come out of lockdown I may well be back to travelling all over the UK/Europe and occasiy further afield as clients want face to face training/consultancy again.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Only for some. I'm lucky in that I've been able to work from my garden bar/office for the past year. Once we come out of lockdown I may well be back to travelling all over the UK/Europe and occasiy further afield as clients want face to face training/consultancy again.
A North American client of mine has utilised the distance conference and training solutions it used to use for its engineers to help one of its overseas clients install systems.

Things are changing.
 
I'm not sure you fully understand nuclear power production.

I understand that nuclear fuel for civilian energy production is not suitable for warhead production, but I also understand that it is possible to use civilian nuclear facilities to make nuclear materials for use in warhead production. The Israelis certainly didn't take any chances with either the Iraqi or Syrian nuclear reactors.
 
How so?
Already on this new thread, alternative suggestions have been made.
Charging people £5k a year road tax as estimated, which will undoubtedly be an addition to existing charges, will take car ownership out of all but the well paid.
FYI, I recall Majors government considering/promising distance charging before the Blair years. How'd that go?

Something else......we're being encouraged to buy electric, no car tax etc and other benefits. If this distance charging is implemented, that'll disappear and I may as well continue running my child killing oil burner for the next 50 years if I pay the same rate as an EV. Remember, they are just stopping production of ICE, they'll be around for a good while yet.
That’s a big “if” in my view. When the Government decides they no longer want you to drive your child killing oil burner, they can simply slap a stupid amount of fuel duty on, and push the cost through the roof.
 
Car purchases are very heavily taxed to discourage car ownership.
Oh, yes, I kind of knew that, I think. I was talking about fuel duty, though. After new ICE vehicles can no longer be purchased, we sort of have the idea that we‘ll nurse our old oil burners along until we’re ripe for the care home. However, as I said, if the Government decides it doesn’t want us to do this they can simply tax the fuel to the point that no-one can afford to use it.
 
Oh, yes, I kind of knew that, I think. I was talking about fuel duty, though. After new ICE vehicles can no longer be purchased, we sort of have the idea that we‘ll nurse our old oil burners along until we’re ripe for the care home. However, as I said, if the Government decides it doesn’t want us to do this they can simply tax the fuel to the point that no-one can afford to use it.

Danish fuel taxes are slightly lower than the UK, but you are quite correct, that could easily change in both countries.
 

giatttt

War Hero
There are bundle of things here, some of which I can talk auto and some which are the subject of a paper that I'm writing that will have to wait for another day.

Fundamentally, it boils down to this:

Road tolling exists in many countries because you don't just build a road and then see it last forever. Charging people to use a stretch of road is a means of providing money for its upkeep.

No news there.

Road tolling persisted in this country for longer than many people realise. As late as the 1930s, a group of private companies proposed to the government a series of privately funded strategic roads. That was killed off for ideological reasons (not having the country's major infrastructure not owned by the public; the same reason the regional rail companies were killed off) and tolling pretty much stopped there (stand fast certain bridges, London's Congestion Charge and the M6 Toll).

But, roads have to be funded. Some countries do a mix of things. The US, for instance, has a gas tax as well as tolling on some roads. The gas tax is supposed to pay for the upkeep of the interstate system but has been technically bankrupt for quite some years, a product of the size of the network, the age of parts of it and - even where US car models are concerned - newer vehicles' fuel economy. It knows it has a funding gap.

Anyone who's travelled across France or Italy will know and probably appreciate their toll roads.

We do in fact operate tolling of a sort in this country. Our strategic road network (our motorways) is maintained by a series of private-sector TMCs (Term Maintenance Contractors) who, as the name suggests, maintain the roads for contractually agreed periods. How much they need, and get, for their work across those periods is based on predicted traffic flows. The heavier the road use, the more money (in theory at least).

But, the government has fought shy of reintroducing 'proper' tolling - that's 'government' of any political hue.

Yes, the government has always got a good screw out of the motorist in terms of fuel tax, especially after Gordon Brown put the fuel tax escalator in place, but I digress...

One could argue that the fuel tax is a distance-based charge of sorts - the more you use, the more tax you pay. A problem from network managers' point of view is that there is no temporal element - you don't pay more for the fuel you use when the roads are crowded (actually, you do in the sense that you burn more fuel...) and so there's no discouragement encouragement to travel off-peak as there might be with a distance-based charge which is implemented by time of day.

But, back to distance-based charging. Lorries on the continent are subject to it in many countries, particularly those that are 'transit countries' i.e. those through which freight traffic travels, often without stopping to refuel. Those countries don't get any fuel tax, so instead many have put in place distance-based solutions. There are two principle ways of doing this: satellite tracking, and terrestrial gantries which use in-vehicle beacons/tags which some of you will be familiar with as they provide access control into work and other premises.

There are several main suppliers of this technology - companies such as Kapsch, Q-Free, Siemens and Thales. They have got the technology and the business model absolutely sorted. Installation is swift, the payback costs of installing even a nationwide scheme are typically within 12 months, and thereafter the schemes generate money which is used to maintain the roads.

Be clear: the technology exists, is robust (typically 99.9999% accuracy is quoted) and return on investment is swift. Commercial road users in many countries are used to this, and it works.

Now, private road-users in the UK...

Most people, when the so-called 'user pays' principle is explained properly to them, totally buy into it. It's simple: the more you use the road, the more you pay - and vice versa.

The mainstream media tend to be the biggest culprits in terms of objection, artificially stoking the fires of the privacy issue every time distance-based charging is suggested.

The reality is that between ANPR in towns, people having to consent to navigation service providers knowing where they are so that they can get directions, CCTV, cellphone networks, card payments for goods... in fact, myriad means, where you are is pretty damn easy to pinpoint most of the time.

Privacy is a non-argument and the government should pull in the MSM and tell them to, frankly, get a fücking grip.

User pays, in theory, should be cost-neutral. In other words, you look at what you need to maintain the roads, look at the money you get from fuel tax, vehicle excise and so on and then divvy that up between the total number of miles driven each year. Simple. End of story.

A problem - another digression but an important one - is that that was what the government promised last time distance-based charging was mooted. Unfortunately, the avaricious and incompetent idiot that is/was Gordon Brown was in Number 11 at the time and when the draft legislation came out it was in fact an additional tax. Support evaporated like beer at a company smoker.

Now, we face the problem of what to do about electric vehicles. There'll be no fuel tax - and taxing domestic electricity supplies is a BIG no-no politically. The only way round this is to introduce distance-based charging.

A lot of research has been done on this Much of it started in Oregon in the US - Google a good friend and colleague of mine, Jack Opiola, who led a lot of the work.

Accurate GPS tracking is the key, as it's the only real way to do things with a minimal equipment footprint. Again, the technology works.

The only real obstacle is political timidity. But, butting right up against that is budgetary reality. If we're going to go all-electric, and we've stated we're going to, then we're going to have to bring in distance-based charging. We have no option. The government (actually, DfT) needs to get out there and be honest and pragmatic with the public.

I'll add some more when the paper I'm writing is finished, as there's more I can add. But, for the moment, the above is true and fair.

All good stuff, but as we seem unable to do anything about the people who currently drive around with cloned or just plain false plates and/or no insurance I doubt enforcing it is going to be easy or effective. Here in the banana republic of non-stick Nicky even our current justice minster failed to see insuring his car as something that really required any sort of compliance, indeed it was such a minor offence that it proved no barrier to him becoming the Chief Constable of Scotland's boss.

As to integrity of any system you may implement, there are plenty of modifications available for the current digital tachos that allow for significant economies on the route from Eire to Europe via the UK. ...and precious few convictions.

Unless you have a rfid token style system in the vehicle combined with an almost insane proliferation of road barriers activated by said tokens then any such system will be seriously abused. Of course said barriers will require significant modifcation to the carriageways if congestion is not to be an issue.
 

gung_hobo

Old-Salt
Ref: Northern Biff's missive 121 above.

Did we? I thought the alternative was Corbyn and his illiterate ability to connect with anybody other than far left nutters.

Let's just step back a moment and imagine Corbyn in charge of the UK's COVID strategy. Even the EU would look like a blistering example of go-getting to follow. Hundreds of thousands more in UK would be dead, the Nightingale hospitals would have been revealed to be the "no chance" repositories that luckily they did not become, and 48 people and Roger the Dog would be the only people to have been vaccinated.

One can argue that perhaps, maybe, Boris has not totally triumphed (and this is theoretically possible if not probable), but FFS Corbyn??? In charge??? During the pandemic??? What drugs are you taking???????

Aaaaaaaand breeeeeaaathe. UK dodged a bullet by sheer chance. Boris might or might not be a twat but he appointed whats her name to sort out our approach to vaccine. She did a sterling job and well done her. The government asked her to do it. THAT is leadership/vision as is the decision to back her decision with huge amounts of immediate money. What a superb mission analysis you conducted, all parties!

I will be interested to see if Chris Whitty (for some reason the prefix "Sir" seems apt and overdue), is supported and backed in the next few days. Somebody seems to have decided to have a go at him. I do not think he deserves it. My worry is that with x number of dead, somebody has to fall. I do not think this would be morally right. I think he might be seen as a trophy (with a view to damaging scientific factual advice), that the opposition can "damage". If they do then I think we can clearly see their moral vacuum.

Ah well, to bed and perchance to dream. I actually think that KS might have some moral bones in his body. Not many obviously. But, can you honestly look back at what has happened over the last 12 months and say that you honestly think that Jeremy Corbyn (and his vile acolytes), would have done anything other than to cause a million people more to be dead or critically ill in just the UK???

Remember, there were not and never have been enough medical staff to man the Nightingale hospitals. The NHS is stating very clearly that there are not enough staff to man full capacity (NHS hospitals only), for very long. Forgive me if my numbers are slightly out but it is something like 8 trained specialists are needed for every ICU bed every shift. To be fair a number of these will be looking after more than one bed. The crucial point is that it is NOT a 1:1 scenario. So before anyone castigates the government, their policies kept the ICU requirement below 100%. This means that nobody needlessly died because an appropriate bed was not available because the NHS had been over-whelmed. Nobody was put somewhere "out of sight" to die.

Out of all the things I did in the Army, regular and TA/Reserve over 26 odd years, I never expected to recognise and to see in action "emergency mortuaries". A really well done to the chap I saw produce the plan for a specific region about 12 years ago. I was wrong, this did matter and did make a difference. Again, well done.

I'm not saying everything has been perfectly handled but by (name entity of choice), it could have been an order of magnitude worse.

Ah well, you either more or less agree albeit with some reservations or you are rabidly against reality. Ah well.

GH
 
I'm no socialist by any stretch but the effect of any of this legislation will be a gift to Labour.
"Of course you can own a car, but not you, you Oik, you can use public transport. Personal cars are for us wealthy"
 
I'm no socialist by any stretch but the effect of any of this legislation will be a gift to Labour.
"Of course you can own a car, but not you, you Oik, you can use public transport. Personal cars are for us wealthy"
Eh? No-one knows how this will play, and lot of it seems ‘pie in the sky’.
Whatever the guvmit want to tax/exploit, there‘s a way around it.
And they guvmit close a loophole.
And people find a way around. And so on.
 
Ref: Northern Biff's missive 121 above.



GH
Calm the fvck down mate.
My comment "And don't forget, we voted for this......didn't we?" wasn't a missive, nor was it a critique of this government.
We've been discussing the general move towards policies, by whatever political party is in charge, that are not discussed or proposed in their manifesto's. My contention being that the CS are bringing forward these 'blue sky thinking ideas', that are neither researched nor exposed to the public. They are delivered and we don't have a choice.

Yeah, big Corbynite me, got a T shirt and everything.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
A North American client of mine has utilised the distance conference and training solutions it used to use for its engineers to help one of its overseas clients install systems.

Things are changing.

We have a fuckwit general manager who doesn't like us working at home, he's looks at hours worked and not results.
I've been training people all over the world remotely which we wouldnt have done pre pandemic (so much resistance to modernising anything)
These dinosaurs are still around.
He wants to reduce the online offerings as we can charge more for in person training and have more people per session.
The fact I've done most of the training as the two other trainers were furloughed for much of last year and we've still exceeded the budgeted income (calculated pre covid) while costing less apparently doesn't come into it

Many of our clients have to have workforce on site, for example those cows won't kill themselves (unlike the creature in the restaurant at the end of the universe) and engine casings can't be made at home.
 

gung_hobo

Old-Salt
So, You're hard left then???

I am tremendously calm, almost horizontal in fact. Every now and then I look at the out of town developments that have absolutely no connection to the world other than by car and cannot work out how they are going to survive as in order to live, each family HAS to own two cars if only for one to go to work and the other to drop off and collect children. The reality is that both need to work, or the mortgage is not possible. I can think of several where without a car (x2) they simply are not economically viable. Push the costs up (AT ALL), and these existing developments will become ghost towns.

I don't think you are a Corbynite. I am pissed off that anything I suggest is (not by you) decried as hard right. I'm not. Ah well.

Love and a hug,

GH
 
So, You're hard left then???

I am tremendously calm, almost horizontal in fact. Every now and then I look at the out of town developments that have absolutely no connection to the world other than by car and cannot work out how they are going to survive as in order to live, each family HAS to own two cars if only for one to go to work and the other to drop off and collect children. The reality is that both need to work, or the mortgage is not possible. I can think of several where without a car (x2) they simply are not economically viable. Push the costs up (AT ALL), and these existing developments will become ghost towns.

I don't think you are a Corbynite. I am pissed off that anything I suggest is (not by you) decried as hard right. I'm not. Ah well.

Love and a hug,

GH
FYI
That's me on the right of Genghis Khan, the lightweight.
 

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