Nationwide road tolls plan - Hamsafar

Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander will seek powers to create toll roads across the UK, reports have said.

In a leaked letter in the Sunday Times, he outlines plans for a bill for widespread tolls to combat congestion.

Local authorities currently set charges - such as London's - but in the letter Mr Alexander says he should be able to set simpler national standards.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it had no intention of imposing road-pricing on local authorities

Ministers currently give their approval for local schemes like London's congestion charge.

In a letter to Leader of the Commons Jack Straw, dated 20 July, Mr Alexander argues he should set national levels to prevent confusion that would arise if different cities adopted different schemes.

We are considering pilots on the trunk road network as an important stage towards national road-pricing
Douglas Alexander
in leaked letter report

Drivers would be charged on a pay-as-you-go basis, with black boxes in their cars working out how far they drive on toll roads.

"The main purpose of the bill would be to support our efforts to cut congestion and improve public transport, particularly in the major cities outside London," the letter said.

"It would also help to pave the way for a national road-pricing scheme in the medium to long term.

"I would propose reforming the current arrangements for approving local road-pricing schemes, providing better targeted powers to ensure that schemes are consistent with a national framework.

'See benefits'

"Current legislation offers very limited powers for pricing on the trunk road network outside of the area of a local scheme.

"We are considering pilots on the trunk road network as an important stage towards national road-pricing."

A DfT spokeswoman said: "The Government has been very clear about the need to explore road pricing as a way to tackle congestion.

"It is only right that we explore what legislation might be required to do this.

Queen's Speech

"With any scheme it will be important that the motorist can see the benefits - improving reliability and tackling congestion."

Mr Straw is drawing up the list of bills to be included in the Queen's Speech in the autumn.

In another letter obtained by the newspaper, Mr Straw is reported to outline 13 bills expected to also be included.

They cover criminal justice, consumer protection, digital switch-over; criminal trials; free bus travel for pensioners; further education; new powers for the London Mayor; health and social security; House of Lords reform; local government; organised crime; pensions; and Child Support Agency reform.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Armitage Shanks {p}
"A DfT spokeswoman said: "The Government has been very clear about the need to explore road pricing as a way to tackle congestion."

It will only tackle congestion if the money collected is spent on it! With the Government's present record of spending less than 20% of the money collected from motorists, on transport related matters. Connections with Hell and Freezing Over seem in order!
Nationwide road tolls plan - Andy P
Typical. Treat the symptoms first, not the cause.

If you drive people off the road, what are they going to use in place? The public transport system is pathetic, you can't move closer to where you work because house prices are too high. If I could find a good job overseas I'd emigrate tomorrow.
Nationwide road tolls plan - LeePower
We all know the real reason why the roads are overcrowded.

The government knows how to sort the problem out but is too frightened to even mention it.

That's all im gonna say on the matter, If I mention what I really think this thread would vanish.
Nationwide road tolls plan - pmh
Dont worry it will be a government IT project to administer the charging!

pmh (was peter)

Nationwide road tolls plan - Armitage Shanks {p}
The Government doesn't know how to sort out ANY problem, it only knows how to make them! LeeP - do give us a bit more of an idea as to what the answer is. It is clear that the roads are overcrowded and that must be because either there are too many vehicles, not enough roads or inadequate alternative transport. Where do we go from there? If you know how to sort the problem out tell us and we can get started!
Nationwide road tolls plan - Nsar
Bring it on I say. You get what you pay for in life and I'd be happy to pay for uncongested trunk roads.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Armitage Shanks {p}
You may get what you pay for in the private sector, shops etc. If the Government is involved you frequently get a hopeless expensive and under-performing load of rubbish. Do you really think that the roads, DEFRA farm payments, police and NHS (just to name a few) represent a good return on your tax £s?
Nationwide road tolls plan - Stuartli
>>Do you really think that the roads, DEFRA farm payments, police and NHS (just to name a few) represent a good return on your tax £s?>>

When you have a Government that includes many ministers and subordinates who have never done a real day's work in their lives are you surprised?

One of the former sacked occupants of the Heath Minister's position, for instance, responsible for a budget for the NHS of many, many billions of pounds, had only previously worked in a bookshop part-time apart from politicial involvement.

A superb business background for the role...:-)

Career councillors and politicians are the last people who should be given such massive responsibility.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Nationwide road tolls plan - Sofa Spud
Bringing in tolls on motorways will drive traffic back onto the inadequate A roads that they were built to replace.

So tolls is clearly a silly, self defeating idea.

My solution would be to speed up the programme to convert the trunk dual carriageway network to motorways.

Minimal environmental impact - widening an existing route is nothing like as damaging as carving a motorway through green fields.

Imagine turning the A34 / A 43 into a motorway linking the M3 near the Solent conurbations, the M4, Oxford , the M40, the M1, Northampton and A1. I'd guess that might remove a lot of long distance traffic from the western side of the M25.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Pugugly {P}
So tolls is clearly a silly, self defeating idea.

And that will make a difference ???
735310 - Total sense in an upside down world.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Armitage Shanks {p}
If any of you want to contact your MP, Google "Fax + Your MP". This will lead you to a site which will ask for your postcode, identify your MP and then give you a blank fax form to fill in. You compose and send the fax, they e mail you back a link to authenticate your request and your fax is sent.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Honestjohn
They will get diminishing returns as has happened in the London Congestion Zone, but worse. If people abandon cars they will also abandon the huge regular tax payments they make from running them, and very few people successfully avoid paying road fuel tax and VAT.

Nationwide road tolls plan - No FM2R
>>If I mention what I really think this thread would vanish.

What a silly comment. Assuming that your comment did not contain abusive language, was pertinent and relevant to motoring, why would it vanish ? Or do you explain the fact that nobody pays any attention to your opinion as part of a conspiracy opinion ?

If you have a comment to make, don't be afraid of the government spies and institutional censors, make it and be damned.

Nationwide road tolls plan - Roly93
Typical. Treat the symptoms first, not the cause.
If you drive people off the road, what are they going
to use in place? The public transport system is pathetic, you
can't move closer to where you work because house prices are
too high.

I agree with this, and it is a subject close to my heart !
However I would say a lot of people have become super-commuters by choice after watching a 5 year plus diet of escape to the country and other lifestyle TV crud like this.
Also, I think it is paradoxical that the working from home trend has largely caused a lot of these problems. Before anyone gets upset, let me point out that I am a home worker myself !
I think that many people who choose to live 100 miules from their place of work do so because in the back of their mind they think 'I can bear the journey if its only 2 days a week'. If we HAD to be in the office at 0900 every day we would be forced to live nearer.
On the subject of not being able to move closer because house prices are too high, is not always true, my company closed an office in the Midlands and offered everyone a generous relocation package in the Thames valley. To my knowledge only half a dozen or so of about 120 people did this. The fact is that almost all of them could have bought a house in the Thames valley but chose not to because they couldn't buy such 'nice' houses as they had. So the choice is spend half of your life in traffic, or buy a slightly more modest property and have more free time.
This is the dilemma the government have to deal with.
My personal view is that Britain is obsessed with concentrating almost all high value business in the SE, unlike our European neighbours eg Germany, who seem to have commerce fairly spread around the country.
Nationwide road tolls plan - turbo11
I commute 125 to 144 miles per day to and from work(depending on which route I choose).If road tolls were introduced I guess I would join the dole queue,as there is little work suitable for me where i live.Public transport is non existant.As for moving nearer to where I work.Well it would mean a huge unaffordable increase in mortgage and a much longer journey for SWMBO.As for saving petrol,well as I now work as a contractor,I claim a nice mileage allowance.If it wasn't for that,none of us(including my fellow contractors) would do the job.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Mike-H
Don't we already pay to use the roads with heavy taxation on fuel, 'speeding' tickets! and road fund licence? Petrol / diesel is as 'pay as you go' as it gets, so why introduce another tax? Absolutely ridiculous. Whilst we still use and cherish our freedom with cars, the government will tax us. It's a get rich scheme for someone somewhere.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Aprilia
Many of the UK's problems (road congestion, water shortage, housing shortages, pollution etc) stem from overpopulation - all services are at breaking point. Unfotunately UK business is addicted to cheap migrant labour and so the population will continue to rise and various forms of 'rationing' will have to be introduced.
Nationwide road tolls plan - teabelly
Migrants should be paid the same as a UK person though. Crack down on companies not paying immigrants the proper going rate, along with all their proper taxes and bingo they'll lose interest as the cheap labour will cost the same as locals but with all the added trouble of language and cultural barriers.

Congestion could be relieved easily with tax breaks to companies for having home workers. Dropping only a few percent of traffic would make quite a difference. Traffic levels are already falling as people are not bothering to travel due to the roads being so bad. Sadly GB is addicted to fuel taxes so would not do something to actually improve the lives of many. They'd rather take the complicated way out which some labour party donor has probably suggested. Certain companies get a lot of government contracts for traffic lights, cameras and all sorts so I can guess why this idea has been picked up.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Altea Ego
The technical infrastructure required to monitor, police and charge a system as widespread as this is HUUUUUUUGE and very expensive.

They always blurt out " A GPS Thingy" well a GPS thingy is useless for this application. Its ok to produce an infrastructure to charge a bridge, a toll road, even a defined zone, but *every* road? and a variable charge?

No way Jose
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Nationwide road tolls plan - Armitage Shanks {p}
I did think that it would be possible to block the signal to my in car GPS by shielding the aerial. I tried a quadruple layer of aluminum foil and was surprised that the signal was unaffected! This further seemed od, in that the aerial will not get a signal thru my front windscreen which is metallised to keep the heat out. I have to have the GPS aerial on the rear parcel shelf with an xtn lead. Can anybody come up with a fool proof way of blocking the aerial/signal? Lead perhaps? This is leading towards a plan for widespread blocking of road charging GPS devices, as you can see!
Nationwide road tolls plan - DP
The way this government goes on, you would think the queues of cars on our major routes every morning and evening are occupied by people who are doing it out of sheer enjoyment (or spite!) instead of making their way to work to earn a crust to pay taxes and keep Gordon's wonderful economy ticking over.

At the end of the day, people are in cars because public transport is either unreliable, non-existent or plain old daylight robbery (all three apply in my case. The government does not grasp that road traffic is an unavoidable consequence of the healthy economy they like to shout about to whoever is listening, as people get to and from work, to and from clients and suppliers, and goods move from A to B. Economic growth = a growth in all of these. It cannot be avoided.

By all means whack up the tax burden on motorists (again!). The money will simply come out of the economy elsewhere, not to mention what will happen to the already laughable house prices in city centres.

That, and on a personal level will be the final straw that motivates me to up sticks and move abroad (do-able thanks to working for a global company).

I cannot put into words the contempt I have for this lousy government.


Nationwide road tolls plan - y2k+4
Well I've heard that they want to implement some ridiculous black-box scheme that'll see you charged more for peak times on motorways. Apparently (though I find local radio difficult to believe) it will cost more to travel to Birmingham from Central London during peak times than to fly to New York.
Nationwide road tolls plan - madf
I can think of lots of ways the system will not work.
1.Flexible charging is all well and good:
if you can immediately direct debit/credit card charge the user. If it's a monthly bill, imagine the number of contested charges.
2. Hire cars: who pays and how? See 1. above.
3. Stolen cars
4. Cars where ownership change is not declared.
5. Cars where GPS box is removed or disabled. (back street conversions will do a bomb). And before anyone comments, you can buy number plates on internet with no checks.. New laws not enforced.. again.
6. GPS box is modified to give signature of another car. ANPR and GPS to work together: lots of computing power required..

If nationwide it requires a national database. Who will administer it? DVLA? (who cannot get current one right?)

Costs £billions to set up. Chances of working 95% in first 5 years ? less than50% based on history.

(I say 95% but for scheme to work properly you need 99.9% )

What about foregn cars and more importantly lorries? How will they be controlled? I can see a nice line in fake IDs there.

As usual, words are cheap. Especially form a politician. When I see a well written paper addressing these issues.. (and these are 5 mins thought so not extensive). but I will not hold my breath.

ID cards? Child Support Agency? Paaport Office? All simple schemes compared to this.

Chances of failure? 99%
Chances of 100% cost overrun ? 100%
Chances of 200% cost overrun? 75%

Nationwide road tolls plan - Armitage Shanks {p}
DP - an excellent and perceptive post, if I may say so without sounding patronising! As a single OAP I have thought of moving abroad but there are downsides to that too. It is all a balance. Anybody who has got a shed load of money to realise by selling a house in UK could easily move abroad and have a much nicer house, or something as good and cash in hand. I go to Germany quite often and always look in the estate agent's offices (Mosel Valley Area, Bernkastell, Cochem etc) I am totally staggered at what £100K will buy you there. They don't even have estates and/or large developments, so far as I can see. People buy a plot, choose from a vast selection of houses for which the plans can be bought and get a local buider to build it for them.
Nationwide road tolls plan - y2k+4
Another thought: they couldn't charge cars from elsewhere could they? Despite using our roads, fi you had a car registered in Belguim you wouldn't pay under this system...
Nationwide road tolls plan - DP
AS - I spend quite a lot of time in Germany and the Netherlands, and would consider moving to either, although it would more likely be the Netherlands from an employment point of view (our European HQ is there).

The nice thing with going somewhere on business is you get to meet a lot of "every day" working people, and therefore get a half decent insight into what it is actually like to live and work in a country. I think Germany has probably more problems with bureaucracy than we do, and the overall tax burden in both countries is higher than it is here, but the public services and the state of repair / condition of the basic infrastructure put ours to shame.

They also don't have the same widespread problems with so-called "low level" crime - anti-social behaviour, vandalism, theft etc. In Germany, I was staggered to find late 911 Turbos, AMG Mercs etc left on the streets overnight it what didn't always look like the nicest of areas, yet nobody gave them a second thought. Other things struck me too, like rows of shops locked up at night with no shutters over the windows, and a colleague who couldn't understand why I didn't want to leave my laptop on the back seat when we popped into a shop for some fags.

For it's faults, I still love the UK. That doesn't mean that love is unconditional though, and since becoming a dad last year, I can't help feeling there are better places to raise kids nowadays.

Nationwide road tolls plan - Armitage Shanks {p}
DP. I lived and worked in Germany in the 70s and again in the 90s (military). I can't say much without hi-jacking the thread! Suffice to say I agree with your input re Germany and Netherlands!
Nationwide road tolls plan - AlanGowdy
We've got 60 million people living on an island that would have a comfortable maximum of around 30 million and this is the real reason for so much of our congestion / pollution / crime problems.
Nationwide road tolls plan - madf
"We've got 60 million people living on an island that would have a comfortable maximum of around 30 million "

No. About 20M live in the Greater London area and 12M around Greater Manchester/
And 4-5M around Birmingham.

And guess where congestion is worst?

And guess where new hous ebuilding is planned at an accelerated rate? SE England.

Muppets as politicinas.

None of which excuses crime.

But all of which explains congestion.

So we have a national system!

More muppetry...

Nationwide road tolls plan - Nsar
The population of the Boroughs which constitute Greater Manchester has been pretty much static for decades at 2.5 million. I don't know where the other 9.5m are hiding.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Snakey
Much as I am against roll tolling, I can see it will the choice of any government in the next few decades. How else will they levy massive taxes against us when we stop buying petrol at the pumps?

Assuming we all start to move to electric/hybrid/fuel cell cars in the 'future' the tax grabbers will need a way to rake it in instead of the 85% fuel duty.

And will it help congestion? Not a jot - everyone goes to work because they have to. Usually around the same time of day. Public transport outside of the capital is hopeless, unreliable and expensive.
Nationwide road tolls plan - local yokel
The problems will come when people are paying a huge cost per mile and still suffering regular congestion/hold-ups. It's one thing to pay for something and receive it, but to pay and not receive it will not leave Joe Public at all happy.

Differential pricing may work to an extent, in that a small number of drivers will adjust their journey times to take advantage of lower rates at night, but most people, most of the time, including haulage companies, want to travel between 0600 and 2000. Not many companies will open their goods-in at strange times so that the haulier can save a few pounds on tolls, and sales guys can't really ask for the meeting at midnight....

I predict a riot.
Nationwide road tolls plan - mss1tw
I predict a riot.

I don't, this country is more limp wristed than Julian Clary with arthritis.
Nationwide road tolls plan - daveyjp
Public transport outside of the capital is hopeless, unreliable and expensive.

Can't agree there. My local public transport service is excellent. Four trains and at least six buses an hour for me to get to the office. I use the train a couple of times a week. From my experience major delays on rail are rare, cost for a 15 mile day return journey is £1.70 - similar to the fuel cost for my car.
Nationwide road tolls plan - DP
I can drive 5 miles to my nearest (branch line) station and pay £31 return + £2 parking each day. Oh, and there is one train per hour! £660 to get to work each month (+ fuel)? Don't think so somehow.

Or I can drive 15 miles to a mainline station and get a more frequent service, but pay £29 + £15 parking for the day. Total £940 per month with fuel (@ £3/day)

That's a half an hour train journey by the way.

Season ticket is almost £7,000 per annum.

There are no buses to either station that go anywhere near my house.

Current car/Tube combo costs me £7.00 in Tube fares and about the same again in fuel and parking.

Which is why I will be quitting my job and moving overseas if they start congestion charging on top. That will definitely cross the line in terms of what I'm prepared to put up with from this government.

Nationwide road tolls plan - paulb {P}
Rant mode on:

The extent to which HM Government fails to grasp why things are as they are (this road pricing business is, I think we can all agree, merely the latest example) drives me to utter despair.

For any DfT researchers (for want of a better name) reading this, here is my two cents' worth on this subject:

1) I drive a pretty hateful 60 miles a day to work and back because I have to. It takes maybe two hours of the day in total, so not a huge slice of the day, but the traffic and the generally poor standard of driving I see on the road make it very hard work. I often reflect ruefully on the fact that when I first got my licence in 1993 I used to like driving; now I dislike it intensely.

2) I have to make this journey because I have a wife and a seven-month old son to support, a mortgage to pay etc etc, and I was brought up to understand that the world does not owe me a living, I have responsibilities as well as rights, and that I have to earn my keep and pay my way (I know, very old-fashioned). My wife and I live modestly; we don't smoke and hardly drink; we don't take foreign holidays or anything like that. We also do not expect the taxpayer to subsidise our lifestyle choices at all.

3) In order to earn enough doing what I do to achieve 2), I have to work 30 miles from where I live. I'm not happy about that, but there it is, and I know that I have it easier than some people. There are similar jobs to mine available nearer to home, but at half the salary. We can't afford to move because the property prices are even more ridiculous nearer to work than they are where we live now.

4) If I could feasibly travel to work by (electric) train, I would sell my car (excellent though it is) tomorrow and never own one again. However:
i) my office is several miles from the nearest station, in a business park on the very edge of the town;
ii) the railway journey alone (including two changes, and the waiting time for connections) takes the better part of two hours each way on a good day, assuming no delays/cancellations;
iii) the local rail operator, in its infinite wisdom, does not allow bikes to be taken on its services during peak hours, as it has replaced all the old slam-door trains (which had 3 guard's vans per 12-coach train) with snazzy new trains with no guard's vans (and no bike capacity) at all;
iv) so you can add an hour and half's walk to the train journey time, taking into account the time spent walking from home to station (30 mins) and station to office (1 hour).

5) Believe it or not, I could actually put up with all the above, but for the fact that the monthly outlay for a season ticket for the journey is getting on for £100 a month more than my current monthly outlay on running the car (that is, all the hand-in-pocket stuff - loan repayments, diesel, and an averaged monthly amount for tax, tyres and servicing).

So, DfT people, please try to understand that all I am trying to do is support my family and live my life in peace. I know cars pollute. I'm not happy about that at all, and I'll happily get rid of mine if you will only give me a realistic alternative to using it. In this case, that means making the train cheaper and a bit more bike-friendly. But you need to appreciate that this has to happen first, and if you aren't prepared to accept that , then you would be better advised to forget the whole idea.

The other alternative is for you to get your colleagues at the Treasury to allow me to keep rather more of the money I work very hard to earn, so that I could maybe afford to take the lower-paid job closer to home (to which I would happily cycle) without reducing my family to penury.

Rant mode off.

I feel better now...
Nationwide road tolls plan - DP
Well said, that man.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Stuartli
>>to allow me to keep rather more of the money I work very hard to earn>>

But if everyone did that the said individuals couldn't live in the manner to which they have come to enjoy and, what's more, use every devious method possible to maintan for as long as humanly possible...:-)
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Nationwide road tolls plan - Dalglish
...I have to work 30 miles from where I live ..

therein lies a partial solution to the problem.

some years ago, when my company obtained planning permission for a huge project, part of the sweetener for the locality in removing local objections was an undertaking to recruit locally and train local people ( first within the borough/district, then within the county ) for as many jobs as possible. only when that failed to fill vacancies, would a wider search be undertaken.

maybe all employers should be forced to do this, and insist that employees relocate to within say 10 or maybe 15 miles of their workplace.

p.s. re no-fm2r's response to leepower: "If you have a comment to make, .... make it and be damned." - i suspect that leepower may have been alluding to immigration (a racist caller this morning on five-live radio blamed immigrants for the congestion and was soon cut off ).

Nationwide road tolls plan - Waino
There is no doubt that we are an over-crowded little island with more than our fair share of crims, bad boys and loonies - but simple maths shows that we cannot entirely blame population growth for our traffic problems. From 1974 to 2004, the UK population grew by just 7% - from 55.9M to 59.8M (give or take a few that we didn't know about!). I can't find the official stats, but I would think that in the same time, our traffic has grown 20 fold. The problems are due to our lifestyle options and the fact that traffic will always grow to fill up any increase in available space - remember the delights of the A14 when it first opened? Everyone now EXPECTS to own a car when they are 17yrs 1month old. Motoring is cheap and, hey, mum and dad will help out.

OK, it only affects local traffic, but the massive reduction in vehicles coming into town is evident again here in Bury St Edmunds with the arrival of the school holidays. Now, you can actually move in town - I would say that traffic has been, at least, halved.
Nationwide road tolls plan - madf
Well Mr Prescott's plan for US style yellow schooll buses has just been dropped.

Joined up government anyone?


Nationwide road tolls plan - David Horn
Public transport outside of the capital is hopeless, unreliable and expensive.
Can't agree there. My local public transport service is excellent.
Four trains and at least six buses an hour for
me to get to the office. I use the train
a couple of times a week. From my experience major
delays on rail are rare, cost for a 15 mile day
return journey is £1.70 - similar to the fuel cost for
my car.

Where's that to? A 30 mile return (Rochdale -> Leeds) is 15 pounds when travelling off peak and takes 90 minutes. Hence, I take the car and do it in 40.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Nsar
Last time I did Rochdale - Leeds I had to be there for 8am, so I set off at 6.30am because I couldn't afford to be late. I got there at 9.00. Believe me, if someone had appeared at my window in the traffic jam and said "I can clear this road for a fiver" I'd have given them £20 and hugged them.

Last time I went to Manchester London by train (last Thursday) I bought my ticket at 4pm the day before. I went down for £12.50 and came back for £28.00 and the return leg was in first class with food and drink served at my spacious table.

Nationwide road tolls plan - 10 Jags
I'll pay the charges when the "Intergrated Transport Policy" promised in 1997 appears - so at the moment it might be when pigs fly.

Anyway, what would they do if you rank up a huge bill - and cant pay - can they stop you driving - wouldnt that infringe your human rights??

Vote Gordon - vote huge tax increases

Toodle pip
Nationwide road tolls plan - Dynamic Dave
Vote Gordon - vote huge tax increases

Enough of the politics, and now back to motoring discussion please.

Nationwide road tolls plan - Thommo
There was a time when I would have foamed at the mouth at this thread but as the UK civil service is incapable of delivering anything that works I now just let such things wash over me. The government in power is irrelevant as they are all 'supported' by the same incompetent civil servants who are apparently also entirely incapable of being removed or sacked.

Slightly off topic but a mate of mine who'se an estate agent said HIP packs will never be introduced so don't worry about them and he was right.

The technology to achieve road pricing s so complex that a working system will not be deliverable in my lifetime and I'm 44!

On a side note RFID tag neutralisers/reprogrammers will be retail items in US by the end of 2006 so if the system is to rely on them...
Nationwide road tolls plan - teabelly
One other thing not mentioned about tolls was the risk for the more vulnerable in society. Scumbag criminal isn't going to register their car for tolls, he'll nick yours or your grandmas and use that for criminal purposes. Then whoever owns the car gets the bill. The wonderful secure biometric passport has already been copied. Black boxes could easily be duplicated so we could all bill Prescott......

I'd just whack the cost on fuel. Those running ultra efficient or alternative fuels could be given a rebate. The paperwork generated would keep the monkeys in the civil service occupied so everyone is happy :-)

Govt always fail to realise people make the best choices for themselves out of the options available. If the poor or vulnerable are priced off the roads have they thought of the possibility of being sued for personal injury by someone who was attacked on public transport because they were forced to give up their car? No one chooses to commute for hours on end. Find a way for people to work closer to home and the problem goes away. Tax breaks for companies who employ locally or maybe even tax breaks for people that live near to where they work? It seems daft so many people commute out of their town into other towns to work when there is probably someone from the other town doing the same job coming the other way every morning.
Nationwide road tolls plan - 10 Jags
Before everyone says "what a jolly good idea" - remember Black box = spy in the car. So they'll know who you are, they'll know where you are and they'll know how fast you've been going. No more tripping off for the weekend with Miss Smith from the typing pool - "darling - whats this itemised bill for travelling to Brighton" - ahh I can hear the divorce lawyers rubbing their hands at the prospect.

Privacy - forget it.

Toodle Pip
Nationwide road tolls plan - Vin {P}
For me, the most fascinating post in here is Lee Power with

"The government knows how to sort the problem out but is too frightened to even mention it.

That's all im gonna say on the matter, If I mention what I really think this thread would vanish."

And the shadow men will return again in the night and take you away for a good old-fashioned torture session for daring to speak the truth?

Nationwide road tolls plan - Armitage Shanks {p}
I did ask Lee P, on Sunday, to expand or explain his comments but he has clearly returned to the Dark Side! The only large computer system that has been introduced in recent years, trouble free SFAIK, in that which runs the National Lottery and that was privately funded. It has gone down once or twice and to be honest it isn't that complicated but it handles vast amounts of data.
IMHO no computer system introduced by any UK Government is going to come in on time, on budget and correctly functional. The latest largely unpubicised foul up has been the introduction of a new computerised payroll, allowances and leave recording system for the RAF. There are plenty of them which you are all aware of; the latest is the CSA which has been kicked into touch having cost millions and with billions uncollected. Road pricing by black boxes will never operate reliably.
Nationwide road tolls plan - nick
I think Lee Power is alluding to immigration, although I didn't think immigrants drove here.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Armitage Shanks {p}
No - lots of them were driven here hidden in the back of lorries!
Nationwide road tolls plan - P 2501
I caught a programme late last night about portugal, they have a fair amount of toll roads over there and i was surprised to see drivers going straight through the toll gate at speed, and a camera of some description flashed their plate and the necessary amount of euros was automatically debited from their bank account.

Apparently the Portugeuse like the system, but in my experience they have a history of accepting new technology very readily.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Armitage Shanks {p}
It is the same in Italy. If you regularly use the toll roads you can get something called a Telepass and you get thru without handing over cash. I can't recall if there is a barrier - I think there is but it lifts as soon as the scanner has got your device logged. Isn't there some similar system in the Blackwall and Tyne tunnels?
Nationwide road tolls plan - daveyjp
That's for a return trip between two stations within West Yorkshire - 7 miles each way, so not a comparison to a return trip to Rochdale from Leeds which crosses municipal boundaries.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Hamsafar
The government want to control us and take away our freedoms, as there are 10000 times more of us than there are of them,. They will use any excuse from congestion to axles of evil to speeding as an excuse to build the control/fear infrastructure, as anyone who works in IT can see what's coming.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Honestjohn
In a democracy the bureaucrats always win because a change of government cannot simply change them. That is why the Eurocrats are winning in the EC. They can vitually do what they like to suit themselves. However by destroying the chances of non-bureaucrats making money they also destroy the society they exist off. A road toll of £1.34 a mile, a 60mph motorway speed limit and black box charging for everything will have a severely diminishing return.

Nationwide road tolls plan - turbo11
In a democracy the bureaucrats always win because a change of
government cannot simply change them.

Totally agree.As most people who couldn't get to work by bus or train would be unemployed as running a car would be unaffordable.Maybe if it comes to the crunch,we should organise a motorist rebellion. ideas anyone?
Nationwide road tolls plan - barney100
Thinking of introducing a congestion charge on my drive
Nationwide road tolls plan - No FM2R
Thinking of introducing a congestion charge on my drive

I'm going to watch and see ifhow you get on. If you manage to extract money from the family without discouraging them from coming home on a daily basis, then I'm going to implement one on my drive.

Remember though, you need to achieve the balance; if you charge too much then you'll stop them coming home with a resulting lack of economic activity within the house. On the other hand if you set the charges too low then you will be passing up available income potential. Its all about maximising revenue without discouraging activity. If you wish to reduce activity then you shoudl set the fees at a more prohibitve level and then grant licenced exemption for those where trips home are deemed acceptable or neccesary.
Nationwide road tolls plan - Armitage Shanks {p}
The only economic activity I ever got out of my children when they were at home was min 1 hour in the bathroom tinting their eyebrows, washing machine continually is use full of their stuff, vast phone bills, lights and TVs on 24/7, dustbin full and fridge empty! Who needs that?

Ask Honest John

Value my car