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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 8 Feb 2007
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road pricing - uk petition

ok well here's something that may interest all uk drivers and riders.
the planned introduction of road pricing in the uk is BAD news. Not only will you have to pay to drive on roads to get to work or for leisure but each and every vehicle will have to have a tracking device fitted compulsory. So they will also know where you've been, when you went there and wether your time taken between two distances means you exceeded the speed limit.There will be no need for speed cameras. You will also have to activate said tracking device before you can drive with your i.d. card....
the excuse is it will reduce traffic congestion by 50%, yes by driving those who can't afford it off the road.Imagine you have to commute 40 miles round trip a day and it costs you even 50p a mile, thats 20 pound a day, 100 a week, 400 a month just to get to work! someone on 800 a month is going to be seriously f****d!
But this about much more than just charging to use the roads...it's about the loss of civil liberties and privacy.
so go to the site below and sign this petition now...you only have till 20th febuary!
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/traveltax/
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  #2  
Old 9 Feb 2007
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Exactly for the reasons you list - it'll never happen just like the government implementing a reliable and affordable public transport system will never happen either. It's ll very nice in theory but in practice the cost of implementing a reliable and effective tracking system as you describe would cost billions and it just won't happen. Now if you are talking about specific roads being ' toll ' roads to reduce congestion as they have done in central London , that seems more viable and if it makes people stop and think before making unnecessary journeys thus reducing the jams and reducing polloution and carbon immissions then bring it on. We can't expect to carry on like we are without having to pay for it one way - either sooner or later we'll have to pay for the environmental damage we create.
Just for your info , road tax in the UK is amongst the chepaest in Europe. Sure your fuel prices are a bit higher but not so much any more if you look around the rest of Europe. I used to run a diesel engined VW van in Holland and it used to cost about GBP 200 per quarter so 800 quid a year plus the cost of the fuel to run it which wasn't exactly cheap either. It was a 1600cc engine so not a high powered engine by any means and the MPG was phenominal so in retrospect I'd certainly prefer to have been paying UK road tax then or even paying per mile of use then but I had the choice to drive it or not.
I agree with your principle that freedom of choice is important and civil liberties need to be protected but such a scheme as you describe is science fiction and is unlikely to happen in our lifetimes. The legal protests on the grounds of civil liberties alone would ensure it was delayed for decades.
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Old 9 Feb 2007
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My 2penny worth
I am very much against the road pricing idea, both in principle and in its technical implementation.
I don't think the idea of using it to reduce congestion will work. People will pay if they need or want to travel, just like people have continued to pay the ever increasing taxes on many other products such as petrol, cigarettes and alcohol. There is already an effective deterrent in place for congestion and that is the congestion itself. People don't like queuing or wasting time, so when congestion reaches an unacceptable level on certain roads and times they will find other ways or times to travel.
Using satellite technology to manage this proposal is just making our society more and more dependant on this very very expensive technology. Technology is great when it makes things easier and/or cheaper for us but we shouldn't really be putting ourselves in a position where we are deliberately choosing a route which makes our transport infrastructure rely on it. For example I think my GPS is great, but I wouldn't want to find myself dependant on it without a map to back it up.
What I think of course wil make no difference to what the government will do. How much it will cost is not an issue, because the motorist will carry the cost and in doing so we will be providing employment for a whole new sector of the community.
I don't know about road tax in many European countries, but I do know that France don't pay any and that their fuel is cheaper than ours. We don't need a separate road-tax. It can easily be collected along with fuel tax, which means those who use the roads more or have gas guzzling vehicles will pay more. But again the government won't abolish it and choose the simple option because keeping road tax is also keeping an army of people in work also funded by the motorist.
As far as the environment goes. I'm not trying to say it doesn't matter or that I don't care about it, but I do think this topic is overstated. For one thing the UK is one of the smaller countries of the world and without the support of the larger polluters such as America and China what difference do we really think we can make on our own.
The other point I keep coming back to in my own reasoning is that the world has steadily been getting warmer since the ice age, so what can we blame for the cause of this before the internal combustion engine came along? Is our lifestyle really making such a difference or is the planet not just still evolving on its own. Fossil fuel is a finite resource and eventually we will have to find an alternative method of propelling our vehicles because there won't be any oil. Hopefully will this occur before we have been deemed to have destroyed the planet.
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Old 9 Feb 2007
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  #5  
Old 9 Feb 2007
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Over 20 years ago I read 1984. it was a fantasy, scary, but it would never happen, but now it has. We are more observed and monitored in this country than virtually any other country in the world, so don't say this won't happen, it will, one day. once a suitably missleading campaign has been waged about it's environmental benifits. As regards speeding and monitoring your whereabouts, well, if your doing nothing wrong then what do you have to worry about. so taking that argument to it's conclusion, why not chip every individual and have cameras in our homes, after all, if your doing nothing wrong....

As for france having no road tax, travelling the length of france will cost almost as much in tolls in one journey as I pay in road tax in a year, so I use other roads. taxing the motorways just pushes people onto other roads.

As to carbon emissions. Despite our congested roads the UK has one of the lowest levels in the Northern hemisphere, and vehicles are responsible for less than 1.5% of that. it's not cars that are killing the environment (if indeed it is being killed off, and there is a strong body of opinion that says it isn't). But cars are an easy target. we all have to use them so the governement can pretty much ladle on as much tax as they want, and if people winge to much, then they can also put out a bit more missleading information about the environment, like the hysteria we have seen over the last few weeks.

Why do you think the government invests so little in a proper public transport infrastructure or alternative fuels. they aren't interested in the environment, just how much money they can get out of you.

I've signed
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Last edited by moggy 1968; 9 Feb 2007 at 20:38.
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