The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
I was fuming this morning whilst in the car listening to a debate on Radio Five Live speculating on the contents of Rod Eddington?s report on road pricing, I did not catch all of the show however the presenter, Mathew Bannister, did not help my blood pressure, he tended to defend the principals of road pricing when almost all phone-in callers were against it hence not presenting the neutral stance one expects from the BBC. Also the main studio guest was, I think, David Begg who was/is chairman of the Commission for Integrated Transport, an independent body created by the government (there is a contradiction in terms if ever there was one!).

Mr Begg (if it were he) compared road pricing with using a telephone, the amount that it is used it effects the amount that is paid, his analogy was to the effect that in comparison with using a telephone roads are free at the point of use! However he completely neglected that fact that even drivers of 50mpg super minis / diesel cars pay around 6 to 7p a mile to the government in fuel duty alone!

It was pleasing to hear that the matter of congestion being a cost to business is being acknowledged. Though how the hell does road pricing help? To use but one example - driver X has to go from A to B to be there at 9:00am, he needs his car because he uses it for business during the day thus road pricing will either:
-Cause him to change his job - his employer suffers.
-Cause him additional cost - he has less disposable income therefore contributes less to the economy.
-Cause his employer to compensate him for the additional cost of travelling - thus reducing their competitiveness, their ability to create additional employment.
- etc.

The answer surely needs to be a greater proportion of the exchequer?s income from road users being invested in an integrated transport policy, i.e park-and-ride schemes, cheap and secure parking at rail stations and an immediate focus on all bottlenecks that exist in the transport network, be it congested roads or the overcrowded trains that make rail travel an unappealing alternative for drivers.

However the key step in my opinion would be an acknowledgement that the continuing focus on speed reduction on the roads only serves to increase congestion. It is recognised that congestion is as much a causal effect in accident rates as speed so - where appropriate - resources should be targeted at increasing average speeds thus journey times would be reduced. This would providing a saving to individuals and businesses alike, a real boost to the economy and a reduction in emissions all without a consequential increase in accident rates.


Regards.

The hypocrisy in road pricing - Hamsafar
The BBC presenters are told to put forth the opposing view to the caller's. So you can't criticise them. The trouble is, you can always tell whether they really hold that view, their personal bias always shows through.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - bignick
The thing that never seems to get mentioned is that the reason there is congestion is because we all HAVE to be on the road at that time. If I didn't have to be at work at 8.30 I wouldn't be trying to drive there between 8 and 8.20. Sure I could roll out of bed at 5 am - drive to work on uncluttered roads avoiding the congestion and any possible road pricinfg - but then what? catch up on my sleep in the back seat?

How many schools are going to allow a couple of hundred pupils to roam there premises unsupervised for two hours after mum has dropped them off early to avoid road pricing? Or supervise them for four hours at the end of school til dad on his way home after 8pm can collect them?

The roads are busy because people need to be there at that time - the only solution is either massive - and I mean MASSIVE (current spending times 10 as a minimum for the next 20 years) investment in road building or public transport.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - bignick
last line should have read - OR that same MASSIVE spending on public transport
The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
Re having to be on the road at that time, other creative solutions include where applicable the adotion of a four day / 10 hour working week (so still 40 hrs) thus reducing some workers travel time and costs by 20% at a stroke.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Baskerville
Re having to be on the road at that time, other
creative solutions include where applicable the adotion of a four day
/ 10 hour working week (so still 40 hrs) thus reducing
some workers travel time and costs by 20% at a stroke.


Productivity, which is already poor compared with other countries, would plummet. How rubbish would most people be by 2pm on day 4? Far better cutting the working week to 35 hours or less.

Actually I thought charging to use the busiest roads was the wrong way round. The empty roads should cost more, so that if you really need to make the journey you will pay. If it's not so important you'll put up with the jams.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
Productivity, which is already poor compared with other countries, would plummet.
How rubbish would most people be by 2pm on day 4?


Re 40 hours I am being approx, the point is an X hour week / 4 rather than 5.

Most people would jump at the chance of get in to work an hour earlier and home perhaps 45 mins later for four days a week and having an extra day off.

Actually I thought charging to use the busiest roads was the
wrong way round. The empty roads should cost more, so that
if you really need to make the journey you will pay.
If it's not so important you'll put up with the jams.

>>

Why do you assume that people using empty roads need to make the journey and people sitting in jams dont?
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Baskerville
Why do you assume that people using empty roads need to
make the journey and people sitting in jams dont?


I don't--actually I was being a little facetious--but in every other aspect of life where there is competition people pay more for better service. Why not road space? It seems to work on the toll roads in France, for instance.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Westpig
The thing that never seems to get mentioned is that the
reason there is congestion is because we all HAVE to be
on the road at that time. If I didn't have to
be at work at 8.30 I wouldn't be trying to drive
there between 8 and 8.20.
The roads are busy because people need to be there at
that time - >>


another solution is for employers to be more flexible in their working practices...

worker A comes in at 1pm on a mon , having had a bit longer on his weekend in effect...owes the employer 4 hours.......does a 9-7 tues & wed

worker B goes home at 1pm on a fri.......having worked tues and wed 9-7

out of 10 commuter journeys they will be outside the 'rush hour' for 3 of them and have a bit longer for the weekend.

most jobs have admin to complete, so it wouldn't be totally wasted time 5pm -7pm when everyone else is going home...and besides that many companies could justify staff being available later, because the customer would prefer it
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Pica
I run a company based in Berkshire and 3 years ago I decided to alter our working day by 30 minutes to 09:30 to 18:00 and I am told by my colleagues that when we started at 9am they would leave their homes at 8am now we start at 09:30 most of them leave between 09:00 and 09:10 and the journey is a pleasant one without much traffic. This means they arrive fresh, rested and unstressed. The downside is hitting the evening jams at 6pm so we pay overtime to encourage people to stay until 7 - 7.30pm and then most of the traffic has gone too.

I have always thought if daft that the whole of the country needs to be at their desks all at the same time.

The hypocrisy in road pricing - L'escargot
I have always thought if daft that the whole of the
country needs to be at their desks all at the
same time.


Working common hours minimises overheads such as heating and lighting etc etc.
--
L\'escargot.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - NARU
Excellent! I'd work for a company with that sort of attitude.

A previous employer in Cobham had a start time of 8am. Sounded severe until I started, when I found it was actually pretty practical, especially as there was no 'work late' culture.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Micky
The current arguments for road pricing are deeply flawed, for example: just who are these people who do not have to travel in the rush hour?

"It's the rush hour dear, so I'm off for a drive around, bye!"

And I am positively seething when I consider that it's the politicos at all levels who have created the need to drive over the years. Who got rid of the trains? Who closed local schools? Who can prevent the movement of retail jobs out of towns and into retail estates? I might even curse in a minute when I think about how much money I pay in taxes for these incompetents. But then I calm down (a little) when I realise that we voted in most of these parasites, so perhaps we get what we deserve?

And there are easy fixes. When I'm in control, my first decree will be the removal of the tolls at the Dartford crossing. two or more hours lost today. And who designed the Clacketts lane section of the M25? Idiots, they're all idiots.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - AlastairM
I must agree with Micky on this, we get the politicians we vote for. Unfortunately we do not always know what plans they have for us when the stand for election. Anybody here vote for 100% increase in the council tax, for large increases in National Insurance, for increases in petrol costs (outside of the oil price increases), raids on our personal pensions, IP tax, this tax and the next tax, in fact all the taxes Mr, Pie-face Brown has imposed on us.

We are going to be paying more, in some cases a lot more, we will have to live with it until we change governments. But wait which one will we change to. The tories have already agreed that they think Road-pricing is a great idea (you can practically hear them slavering over the increase in taxes received) and the liberals have been advocating swinging taxes on motorists for years.

Anyone fancy a move?


Feel better now thats off my chest!
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Micky
"> ... all the taxes Mr, Pie-face Brown has imposed on us.<"

But we keep going back for more of the same! Probably because the current opposition are no better. The British are generally astonishing stoical about higher taxes, lower pensions etc.

">But wait which one will we change to. <"

Me. A vote for me is a vote for motoring sanity. And the return of Group B. In fact, a SWB quattro with the downforce bodywork will be my Prime Ministerial transport. No, wait, it's German. So, a 6R4 it is then.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - stunorthants26
I think this road pricing thing will take up so much time and resources to set up that they will never be able to justify it in the end - they have Trident to pay for afterall!

I dont like road pricing, but i do like the idea of heavy taxes for heavy polluters - such as a yearly road tax based on the emissions from your last MOT which I am wondering why nobody has actually suggested as its car specific and would encourage even owners of older cars to tune them to run more cleanly I would hope, plus the option of retro fitting Cats for older cars with a grant to help with the cost.

I have no problem with Chelsea Tractor drivers paying a few thousand a year for their trucks - I mentioned to one of my customers that they were considering such a move and she said she would definatly go for a more economical, smaller car in that instance, so even middle england has their price.

From what I have read, the actual scheme would be unlikely to be in full operation until half way through the next decade, so atleast it shouldnt arrive next year. This means we have an election between us and road pricing. And if you dont want to vote for the road pricing, better start funding UKIP lol!
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Dalglish
once the bureaucrats at brussels get hold of this idea, they will probably have new eu laws (to be followed to the letter in the uk, but ignores everywhere else) which will tax your car on the basis of some if not all the folowingplus a few other factors:

1. higher fuel tax
2. tax based on weight
3. tax based on co2 emissions
4. tax based on sale price
5. tax based on where you live
6. tax based on where you park your car - whether it is at home in your drive or garage, or in car parks, or on the street.
7. of course, there will credits for poor families and those who don't own cars.

the money raised will be given to the third world countries where car ownership per capita is below the western world's average.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Roger Jones
Here's a chance to do something, it seems:

petitions.pm.gov.uk/traveltax
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Stuartli
I used to work in Preston and had to endure the usual nose to tail jams every morning and evening during the week.

However, throughout the periods when the schools were on holiday, the traffic flowed freely.

There has to be a moral somewhere.....
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
The hypocrisy in road pricing - madf
Heard no action in place before 2015...

If that is the case, it's an excuse to do nothing.

So imo all will get a LOT worse and will be used as an excuse not to build more roads. (I am NOT saying that is the solution)

If it's like the NHS IT system it will be planned to cost £10B and will cost £25 billion.

So it will be too late to do anything and cost more than doubling the motorway capacity and adding more lanes.


If the 2015 date is correct, report cannot be considered a viable alternative.

Muppets rule ok - again...:-((


madf
The hypocrisy in road pricing - DP
The only fix to this problem is to force employees to provide flexible working hours or home working where possible. Even if this only applied to 20% of the workforce, the resulting reduction in traffic congestion would make an incredible difference.

My employer is a classic example. We are provided with a BlackBerry, and a web based e-mail portal which to all intents and purposes allow us to work from a remote location 75% of the time. Regardless of this, we are forced to trek into the office religiously during office hours when we could quite easily work remotely or work from home until after rush hour. If the congestion I, and others like me cause is a problem, then the employers should foot the bill, not the employees. Hit the people who can actually make the difference.

Penalising people for getting to work when they have no choice but to do so (or receive their P45) is completely unacceptable.

Cheers
DP
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Robin Reliant
This flexible working hours thing always crops up whenever traffic congestion is debated. I would guess that for 99% of businesses it would be impossibe, simply because they need to interact with other busnesses duting the whole of the working day.
--
The hypocrisy in road pricing - DP
I suspect all businesses would have certain staff members who have to be in the office or travel to their premises every day and that's fair enough, but equally most businesses could excuse some of their staff from the office some of the time. Of course many non-office jobs require attendance at company premises, and that's fiine. What we should be doing is clearing the roads for these people who genuinely have to commute and the only way to do that effectively is to look carefully at the necessity of every person's rush hour commute. The individual should not foot the bill for this. If your job genuinely demands you travel to a permanent place of business then that's a simple fact of life and you shouldn't pay road tolls. If your job doesn't demand it but your employer does, then let the employer foot the bill for the resulting congestion and pollution. If you have an elightened employer and you can work from home, that's a major contribution to the reduction of emissions and congestion which are supposed to be what this whole thing is about.

In my particular job, interaction with other businesses, in my case subsidiaries and dealers is done in most cases by e-mail or phone, and I can do either of those from my office at home just as easily as my desk at work. If I need to meet with colleagues, or have access to printed records or other resources in the office, then I have to go into the office. Fair enough. The fact is though that around half my commutes to the office have no purpose other than to meet company rules. Approximately half of my work does not require me to be in any specific place, and the same goes for many of my colleagues. If we cut two journeys a week and everyone else in our position was permitted to do the same, that would make more of a contribution to reducing rush hour congestion and pollution than any road toll scheme which for many will simply be a tax on something they have no control over.

Cheers
DP
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Westpig
playing complete devil's advocate here.....whenever i travel 'up north'... which to be fair is not that often, i always use the M6 toll, because it's comparatively empty compared to the non toll bit

which must mean to a degree, for people like me, that system works doesn't it

it will end up being the old 'if you can afford it ' scenario won't it.

the poor or the 30,000 mile a year rep will be penalised, whilst those that can afford it will get through quicker
The hypocrisy in road pricing - CGNorwich
You have a point Westpig. Much as I would personally hate road pricing and the impact it would have on on my freedom I believe it would actually work and ultimately it is probably the only way to curb the relentless growth in traffic. Any commodity that is free at the point of supply such as the road system or the NHS will soon incur a demand greater than the ablity to fulfil that demand. Virtually all other services and commodities are charged for on the basis of the amount consumed e.g gas,water, food. Market forces will eventually ensure that a state of equilibrium between supply and demand is reached. Unpalatable as the idea may be road pricing would have the same effect.

The hypocrisy in road pricing - Micky
">Any commodity that is free at the point of supply such as the road system<"

The road system is only free at the point of supply for car drivers if the fuel is not subject to tax, otherwise usage is directly proportional to mileage and efficiency.

">Virtually all other services and commodities are charged for on the basis of the amount consumed e.g gas,water, food<"

Not completely, I pay a gas standing charge irrespective of the amount I use, I refuse to have a water meter, I grow my own food .... OK, I don't grow things, but some people do. The management of our North Sea gas resources has been deplorable, only idiots would use it for power generation when there are alternatives. Charging for water by usage is scandalous, we don't have a water shortage problem in the UK, we have a water management problem.

Motorists are already ripped-off by the authorities to use the roads, we pay for more than we receive, the gubmnet makes a substantial profit from us, why should we pay more?

">Market forces will eventually ensure that a state of equilibrium between supply and demand is reached<"

No it wouldn't, the past track record of all gubments tells us that road pricing would be used to generate income, so there will be charges for roads with no jams. Market forces only work where there is a free market, which requires the consumer to have choice and a complete knowledge of the market, which vary rarely (if ever) happens.

I want the money I pay the gubment to be used efficiently and wisely with long term planning. I don't want cheapskate motorway development that needs constant improvement, I want a transport system planned by engineers, not bean counters.

If this gubment was serious about reducing congestion then the first step would be to remove the Dartford tolls, by next Tuesday please.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
I agree Micky, many services have fixed costs, water (for those not metered), phone - BT Option 3, inclusive call contracts, Broadband etc etc

Yes the NHS is free at the point of use though roads are not.

Motorists have to pay for fuel and that the further one travels the more fuel is used, futhermore if one chooses a large car which places more demands on the roads and the environment then more fuel is required so it costs more, when you then consider that the fuel tax system raises taxation based on these criteria a comparsion with the NHS becomes even more irrelevant.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Nsar
Road pricing is the only way to solve congestion because it is the only way which links obtaining the value/utility of making a journey with the cost of doing so.

That is an inviolable law of economics.

Accept it and move on.

Quicker.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - DP
Accept it and move on.
Quicker.

>>

If you can afford it.....
The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
Road pricing is the only way to solve congestion because it
is the only way which links obtaining the value/utility of making
a journey with the cost of doing so.
That is an inviolable law of economics.


The dynamics of which are already in place via the cost of a car, and the cost of running a car which is already directly related to how much it is used.

The hypocrisy in road pricing - googolplex
The dynamics of which are already in place via the cost
of a car, and the cost of running a car which
is already directly related to how much it is used.


But this takes no account of WHEN it is used which is surely the point of road pricing over and above other forms of motoring taxation.

I think road pricing would work. Many people may sit uncomfortably with it, but it could well force change in driving habits. For example, commercial vehicles could be forced off the roads at 'peak' hours.

However, I agree with previous posts which suggest that our transport infrastructure is fundamentally flawed, and designed to slow things down. Why, for example, do we persist with cheap roundabouts rather than invest in feeder roads as in other countries. Yes, this costs much more, but then that's the point of investment, isn't it?
The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
I think road pricing would work. Many people may sit
uncomfortably with it, but it could well force change in driving
habits. For example, commercial vehicles could be forced off the
roads at 'peak' hours.


Ah! That is another point though quite valid, restricting road use by certain vehical types at certain times of day. it would not need all of us to pay to achieve that.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Micky
"> Road pricing is the only way to solve congestion because it is the only way which links obtaining the value/utility of making a journey with the cost of doing so.<"

But at cost to who?

">That is an inviolable law of economics.<"

Ah yes, the laws of economics, the study of which is based on ceteris paribus, all other things being equal ... which never happens in the real world. Economics isn't a science, it's a religion and it's based on making things up as we go along with very little consideration for the long term. Which is why the M25 was designed by short-termist bean counters. Hills to slow down the lorries, three lanes into two for pinch points, poor junction design to ensure that slow traffic has to go from lane 1 to lane 3 to exit, the list is endless.

Fortunately, the engineers can provide the solutions, but it should have been right first time, primarily because it's my money that's being spent.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Stuartli
>>i always use the M6 toll, because it's comparatively empty compared to the non toll bit>>

Yet all those I know who have tried the toll section state that not only do they have to pay, they also spend a considerable amount of wasted time getting back onto the M6 because of the congestion at the junctions at either end.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
The hypocrisy in road pricing - v0n
The M6 pro-congestion charging argument is fundamentally flawed simply because there is free alternative. If there wasn't the people who use free and congested motorway wouldn't cease to exist, you would find them queuing to M6 toll booth, regardless of price.

None of "normal" ways of tackling congestion as exercised around Europe were tried in UK so far, which suggests problem of congestion is purely of commercial nature. If there is dosh to be made projects will be researched. But then again that's the nature of all road projects in UK. You will find government conveniently forgetting about the fact Dartford Tolls were meant to cease to exist good few years ago and that the entire Britain has that one privatized bridge and two tunnels to fit whole traffic from continent, but uh, oh - they are soooo concerned about rush hour traffic, aren't they. "We have to save time of those who MUST travel by road". That means who? Everyone already there? What kind of sick and twisted excuse is this? How about we start from the bottom. In peak hours what is more important - Tesco delivery or commuters? Tesco deliveries can be done at night, it works, half a Europe has ban on commercial traffic in peak hours. Ground lorries in peak hours, no more 50mph caterpillars on motorways, no slowdowns, no overtaking manoeuvres for miles. That will reduce some traffic. No? Then let's fix that mess with railways - how is it possible that it's cheaper and faster to ship containers on roads, one by one, than it is to ship commercial traffic via rail? Someone has to look into it, it's about time. Finally, let's modernize decades old road system. And then, if everything fails let's consider last resorts - like GPS toll charging and other Orwellian scenarios.


--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
The hypocrisy in road pricing - mare
I'm with DP and Micky on the office hours. We have set out to be dead flexible for ourselves and our staff:

Office core hours are 10-4. Our secretary works 8-4.30, i do 10-6 or 7-4. Phones are covered.
We all have laptops that can access the work server remotely.
We have a mobile phone each, whereas we have 3 landline phones between 8 staff.
Our architects do one day a week working at home (one does two because he lives quite a way away.
I worked at home yesterday, but was still in touch by email and phone.
Even our sites work 7.30 to 4, thereby maximising the light and minimising the hassle of commuting.
We also avoid arranging meetings on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons.

Maybe the difference is that the 3 of us who set up the business all worked for unimaginative businesses who expected you to be at your desk regardless, and we know it doesn't work. The next challenge is because we're expanding, we have to move office and there's no parking at the next place. So three of us will be on the train, my partner will be using his scooter more, and another lad catches the bus. I may still drive, but will have to dump the car somewhere. We will have a shower in the office if anyone wants to cycle in.

None of the above means that we're unavailable and we have never had an issue because someone's at home.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
This flexible working hours thing always crops up whenever traffic congestion
is debated. I would guess that for 99% of businesses it
would be impossibe, simply because they need to interact with other
busnesses duting the whole of the working day.

>>

Take a business with only 10 employees each working 8 hours a day over 5 days, if they each worked 10 hours a day over 4 days (2 would work MTWT, 2 MTWF, 2 MTTF, 2 MWTF and 2 TWTF) instead they would still have at least 8 people available and able to interact with other businesses at any one time however they would maintain their productivity and reduce their collective commuting time and cost by 20%, extrapolate this and you make a massive difference.

The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
playing complete devil's advocate here.....whenever i travel 'up north'... which to
be fair is not that often, i always use the M6
toll, because it's comparatively empty compared to the non toll bit


The M6 toll has nothing to do with road pricing and everything to do with capacity.

The toll section has provied additional capacity though it is clear that when the non-toll section is busier the toll section is correspondingly busier, likewise when the toll section is quieter traffic is generally flowing well on the non-toll section. However the toll section is no good to M6 users who have come from or are going to the west of B'ham (M5) so the non-toll section will always have a greater residual demand.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Nsar
Cheddar the costs of motoring are largely hidden which is why you need a mechanism which makes the cost of making an individual journey explicit.

You may counter that fuel duty is a per mile cost and you would right but people don't perceive it as such, they believe that the petrol companies are raking it in- hence stupid campaigns to boycott individual petrol companies one by one till they bring their prices down.

The M6 toll proves my point - introducing a toll section which provides the utility of getting round B/ham quickly has made journeys practical that used to be impractical because of gridlock. That was great until so many people came back onto the roads that the section where toll and non-toll meet are now new bottlenecks eg Stafford up to Knutsford which is simply hell on earth for long periods of most days.

A system which gives an advantage to people prepared to use the roads when they are less busy is simply common sense and long overdue.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Micky
">The M6 toll proves my point - introducing a toll section which provides the utility of getting round B/ham quickly<"

Can a driver make an informed decision about journey times before selecting the toll road? I try and lead a sheltered existence here in the South East so I have no experience of the M6 toll road.

">That was great until so many people came back onto the roads that the section where toll and non-toll meet are now new bottlenecks eg Stafford up to Knutsford which is simply hell on earth for long periods of most days. <"

Ah, good planning then. Imagine what will happen if the M25 is subject to high charges per mile and the local roads aren't:

"I'll just turn off here to save a few quid, I can rejoin later."

It will be chaos.

The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
You may counter that fuel duty is a per mile cost
and you would right but people don't perceive it as such,
they believe that the petrol companies are raking it in>>


Whether it is going to multinational oil companies or to the exchequer people still perieve that they pay to travel by road, that it costs more to travel 30 miles than 10 etc.

The M6 toll proves my point - introducing a toll section
which provides the utility of getting round B/ham quickly has made
journeys practical that used to be impractical because of gridlock.


As I said above this has nothing to do with charging and all to do with road capacity.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Nsar
>>Whether it is going to multinational oil companies or to the exchequer people still perieve that they pay to travel by road, that it costs more to travel 30 miles than 10 etc.

But isn't it better to have a system which gives people a degree of choice over whether that cost is greater or lesser depending on when they make the journey?

Flat fees for any resource which grows and diminishes in value depending on how many others are using that resource at any given time is a clumsy way to charge.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
But isn't it better to have a system which gives people
a degree of choice over whether that cost is greater or
lesser depending on when they make the journey?


No! Because the vast majority have no choice when they make the journey, if they did have a choice the peak demand would be less so congestion would be less of an issue so road pricing would not be on the agenda, what is required is a strategic plan to transport, incentives for homeworking, flexible hours, 35/40 hour weeks over 4 days not 5, less emphasis on reducing speed etc etc.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
Flat fees for any resource which grows and diminishes in value
depending on how many others are using that resource at any
given time is a clumsy way to charge.


The point with roads is that as a resource they should not be allowed to grow and diminish in value depending on how many others are using them, capacity needs to be matched to demand, the cost of matching capacity to demand would be more than covered by benefits to the economy and the environment.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Nsar
But roads have a finite capacity which is only stretched at certain points of the day so having an open cheque book approach and simply building more and more roads is an outrageously inefficient way to reduce congestion.

It is unarguable that building more roads simply makes it easier for more people to make more and longer journeys. The fact they do so is fairly clear evidence that fuel duty is not really any disincentive. There is probably some point at which the demand will be sated by an extra mile of tarmac but you would be insane to try to reach that point.

Reducing demand at peak times by encouraging people to think "is my journey neccessary right now" is the only way. You will only achieve this by making the link between the choice to drive now and the cost to drive now utterly explicit.



The hypocrisy in road pricing - car junky
Has everyone missed the point?

The reason why there is congestion is that we have too many cars on the road for a small country. The solution is not to improve the roads, we are not America.

The solution is to tax the second car off the road. Go back to one car per family, that includes Dad, Mum and kids.

Dad can take the car to work and Mum can walk the kids to her local school. If Mum complains that she needs the car to take the kids to school and shopping, well then Dad can take public transport. Teenage son or daughter can ask permission to use the car.

The point I am trying to make is that cars are taken for granted with too many being sold and thus devaluing the older cars much sooner even if they have many years yet to run. Hence this increase in cars on the road which was particulayly noticed with cars sold in the 90's.

I think the govenment needs to take a tough stance and take the family second car off the road. Everyone managed in the 70's perfectly well with one car. Yes there will be a initial outcry over those who cannot reach certain workplaces where public transport cannot reach, but what about carsharing or using your bike? With increase in demand for public transport, the services will be provided. The reason the government is not spending on public transport is because they know the car owners will still use their cars regardless. You have not force people out of the second car in the household. This seems much fairer then road pricing which penalises us all!

The hypocrisy in road pricing - Nsar
It's 2006 not the 50s where man is the breadwinner and little wifey is at home baking scones.

The hypocrisy in road pricing - car junky
Little wifey could be working as well, with man looking after the kids.

The point is CARSHARING!
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Nsar
I was refering to the huge numbers of households with two breadwinners who may well work in different locations.



The hypocrisy in road pricing - DP
The point is CARSHARING!


And that works how, exactly when husband and wife work 20 miles in the opposite direction from their home, and the home location chosen because it was an equal distance from both places of work, as many are.

How does that work when both people work "office hours" and therefore a couple of hours be added to the working day waiting around for the person with the car to pick them up in the evening. We already work the longest hours in Europe with all the social issues that brings.

Besides which, Even if it were somehow possible to car share, how is it more environmentally acceptable for one car to be driven 20 miles from home to drop off the first person, then 40 miles to get the other person to work, 40 miles back to pick the other up at night and then 20 miles home? Total distance travelled = 120 miles. Total distance for two cars = 80 miles. If that's environmentally sound, I'm a banana.

To enable just one person in a household to work would require a substantial cut in house prices and living costs in general. In our parenting group only one couple out of 10 has just one parent working, and he is an IT contractor earning about £100k pa. Hardly Mr. Average.

Cheers
DP
The hypocrisy in road pricing - car junky
Thanks for the response DP, but again its a scrifice we can all make, one partner of the household will simply have to take public transport.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Micky
">Mum can walk the kids to her local school. <"

Shall we reopen/rebuild the local schools first? You know, the ones that were closed in the 1960s and 1970s in the great move to centralisation? Created by politicos. Your scheme will also remove the ability to choose a school.

">Dad can take public transport. <"

Which does not currently exist as a viable alternative for most people who live outside London.

">With increase in demand for public transport, the services will be provided. <"

Trains are overcrowded, where are the additional services? The train operating companies are not prepared to invest in sufficient infrastructure because the payback time is too long for the current contracts. Poor planning caused by politicos.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - LeePower
So car junky with this tax the second car off the road & one address one car philosophy you have what happens when dad owns a van for work then?

How do you fit a family in a work van? Remove all the tools & get the kids to hide in the back & hope plod dont spot you?

Yes, there arm too many cars on the road I agree there but trying to tax them off the road wont work, We need to reduce the driving population by other methods.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Roger Jones
Thoughts:

* Give employers financial incentives to enable employees to work at home and take full advantage of the InterWeb thingy. It's obvious, isn't it?

* Split school times: primaries to start at 8.30, secondaries to start at 9.30. More traffic is associated with secondaries because pupils travel further to them, and this would shift it to after the main business rush hour. We all know that congestion is dramatically reduced in the school holidays. (And, of course, teenagers can't get up in the morning, so they would welcome the shift.)

* Forget flexitime schemes -- too much hassle.

* Start helping business people understand that driving time is dead time and that train time can be productive work time.

* Tilt the scheme of things against short-hop flights and towards trains. The traffic associated with airports is another major congestion factor and it's about time that flights of less than 250 miles (including London-Paris) were seen as the comical waste of time that they are: an hour to the airport, an hour to get on the plane, 40 minutes in the air, an hour to get to the destination city centre, and almost all of it dead time -- what a farce. The "overhead" of flying is poorly understood but actually onerous.

What is road pricing if not another money-raising scheme for funds to slosh around the public sector keeping the unemployment figures down? There is already a highly efficient tax aimed directly at the motorist and geared to the amount of road used: fuel tax. It also impacts more heavily on drivers of vehicles that use more fuel and thereby have a greater environmental impact. What could be simpler and more effective than that? My goodness, I find myself agreeing with Jeremy Clarkson.

Will someone please ask Rod Eddington about fuel tax on aircraft.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Nsar
As far as I know he is suggesting taxing aviation fuel.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Zippy123
" Start helping business people understand that driving time is dead time and that train time can be productive work time."

A colleague from work (Bank B) sat on the train to London, next to traveller (from Bank N). The chap from Bank N was using his laptop with details of their current marketing policies and offers to their clients. These were all duly passed to our marketing department.

IMHO time on the train is now deadtime too!

The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
>>Market forces will eventually ensure that a state of equilibrium between supply and demand is reached.>>

It is the consequences of that approach to roads that is the concern. Perhaps < 1% of all road travel is because the driver wants to enjoy the drive alone and has no fixed destination, we travel by road to work, to shop, to socialise etc, economics apply to the amount we are paid to do our job, the price we pay in the shops or restaurants, the cost of our cars etc though not the capacity of the roads because roads are not an end in themselves, they are a means to an end.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Roger Jones
Oh, how silly: look what's happened to that innocent alternative to "further" in my previous post.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - MokkaMan
I think that it is hard to compare life now to the 1970's. I think if you were to examine the two you would find that there is now a larger working population due to higher population overall, more women working and more part time jobs. Urban areas are growing and they are quite often supported by an infrastructure (trains / tubes) that were planned 100 years ago. Additionally many people aspire to have more than one home. The type of work has changed. There is virtually no manufacturing industry in this country, where communities congregated around the core businesses and there was no real need for a car. Also parents worry more about the risks to their children and want to protect them by delivering them to school in a car.

Let no-one be in doubt that if a significant part of the car owning population suddenly decided to use public transport, it would become overloaded - very quickly. Business and lifestyles would suffer. The inclination to tax the motorist is that it is easy money masked by a pretence of virtuous motives.

I think the answer lies in some of the points made above. We must move to a 24 hour office, which will necessitate shift work, hot desking, working from home etc. By doing this the impact on road use can be spread more. This is also a tough option, as it will impact on family lives, but I think it is the only workable one. I cannot believe the alternatives will work
The hypocrisy in road pricing - car junky
I can see moving to a 24 hour working enviroment, home/office based will work and yes parents are worried about their children and themselves, therefore drive everywhere in their safe cars.

Howver, I will still re-iterate the point, one address one car. This could be phased into the heavily populated areas first and therefore the demand on public transport could be provided for well in advance.

It is about giving people the choice to use the alternatives and therefore making them feel that the second car is not a necessary. Either by making them feel safe on streets and vastly improving our public transport, you just have to look at our European counterparts, why do they get it right and not in the UK?

What happened to walking? Why use the car for everything - to get a pint of milk, to get a video etc...
The hypocrisy in road pricing - brg190 pete
An interesting thread.

While, in theory, road pricing seems a good idea, there are a number of drawbacks :

1. We all know what the Govt is like. If the intention was that there would be cuts in fuel duty and other motoring taxes to compensate, then fair enough. But, in the real world, we know that won't happen. The motorist will just pay even more. And, as with green taxes generally, if people start to obey by not travelling at high-charge times, tax take goes down - so charging will start to apply to all journeys, not just busy times.

2. This Govt is useless at any big high-tech IT schemes. Their track record is appalling. It will end up costing 10 times what they say at the beginning.

3. The bigger problem, it seems to me, is that this country is just too crowded generally. I have lived where I do for the last 15 years, and the roads, town centre etc are just much busier all the time than they used to be. Surely we should be looking at our open-border policies and coming up with strict quotas on those allowed into this country.

It's been said earlier in this thread that we voted for the Govt, so we get what we deserved. That approach is fine if there is a reasonable alternative to vote for - but the Tories under Cameron may be even worse than Brown!

I'll stop there, as I don't want to get too political and move away from the motoring theme.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - bignick
Yes we can go back to a one car per family set up.
All we need to do is rebuild all the schools, shops, industries etc that enabled people to live close to where they worked.

Oh and pay the breadwinner a sufficient salary that one partner can become a non working homemaker with sufficient time to do that daily shopping in local shops.

Close the out of town supermarkets, subsidise the reopening of small independent butchers, grocers etc.



In short return to some idyllic view of the 1950s.



The hypocrisy in road pricing - MokkaMan
I personally think any government imposing one car per address would be commiting electoral suicide. It would fail on several levels. People do not like Government imposing on their personal choices. They also do not like people curtailing their aspirations. Two or three cars can often be seen as not only a personal choice but as a measurement of their success in life - it shows what they achieved.

All this rather reminds me of the 1992 General Election when the late John Smith (who I think was a great loss) rather naively put forward a shadow budget on how Labour would increase taxes to improve public services and the Conservative chairman Chris Patten rode the electoral wave for his party into Government against " a double whammy" of tax and spend labour. People wanted improved public services but never wanted to pay for them, hence why we now have stealth taxes. I think people do want to help the environment and reduce congestion on the road but I doubt they want to curtail their life significantly.

The 24 office would doubless help as would any enouragement for car manufacturers to build greener vehicles (for example the new Honda CRV - an SUV with low CO2 - yes you can have it all). The only other thing would be the dreaded concept of new towns, real encouragement for people and business to go to the less populated parts of the UK - Wales, Scotland, North of England etc. This option is compromised by the real difficulties in getting any real critical mass of people and skills leaving their homes and setting up elsewhere.

I would personally also forget any intention of restructuring the family group back into worker and homemaker - that really is a grenade with the pin out!!!
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Roger Jones
I have more than one car. I've not yet worked out how to drive more than one car at the same time. No-one else drives them either. No, they don't take up road space when parked.

One other factor in congestion is the local car trip for whatever purpose. I wonder it some would reduce their use of a car to travel less than a mile if they realized how bad it is for their pride & joy. Some perhaps, although no doubt laziness will prevail in any event.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - v0n
I have more than one car. I've not yet worked out
how to drive more than one car at the same time.
No-one else drives them either. No, they don't take up road
space when parked.


Precisely. Everyone got so worked up about two cars in family they don't even notice a simple fact no matter how many cars each of us own it is still very, very finite number. There was no investment into work infrastructure, bar few private toll roads, in the last few decades. In the same time Britain stopped producing just about anything it was known to produce and all everyday items have to be imported, thus adding to traffic. People got outpriced from cities by lack of rent control and unstoppable force of office developements and moved to suburbs, thus adding to congestion and number of cars in use. Additional bottlenecks were created by choking traffic flow with unrealistic speed limits on routes out of cities, now enforced by speed cameras. It's not rocket science. The number of cars on the road will never, ever fall to levels 3 decades ago, no matter how expensive it is.
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[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Sofa Spud
Road pricing is a crazy idea. We already pay vehicle excise duty and fuel tax.

Road pricing will simply drive people off the best roads onto less adequate secondary roads where pricing doesn't apply. Also, although everyone will complain about road pricing, those that can afford to pay will do so. So the newly free-flowing motorways and trunk routes will be the haunt of well of drivers in expensive cars, and lorries from the big, high-profile haulage fleets.

If the government is serious about tackling congestion and they really feel that there is an environmental problem and looming energy crisis, the thing to do would be to introduce fuel rationing for private motoring.

That would be unpopular, but we're talking about a scenario inwhich all the alternatives seem unpopular!
The hypocrisy in road pricing - NowWheels
The congestion problem is basically a supply/demand issue, and as with other such issues there are basically two ways out of the congestion problem: either increase road capacity or reduce/redistribute demand.

Increasing road capacity could be done, but it's diffucult and expensive in urban areas (unless you want to create Los Angeles-style cities). Outside the cities, more motorways could be built, but apart from all the planning battles, it's not going to help meet global warming targets if yet more traffic is trundling up and down motorways.

So demand reduction is really the only solution. That could be done simply by letting everything gridlock, so that people reduce journeys out of frustration, but that simly drives up overall costs. A formal rationing system is hard to enforce, so pricing is probably the main mechanism available. As others have pointed out, it's socially inequitable, but not as much as some people claim: the London congestion charge, for exapmple, hasn't hurt the poor much (if at all), because poorer people can't afford London parking anyway, and they benefit most from the improved public transport.

The problem with a price-based solution is that, as others have pointed out, it needs to be part of a wider strategy to allow people to reduce transport needs. Road pricing could help to drive people away from road transort solutions (such as the ridiculous overcentralisation of retail distribution) to economic decisions which stop relyong on cheap road transport, but it won't work unless we also stop centralising schools and hospitals etc, and reverse the growth of out-of-town retailing.

As usual with British governments, what we have on offer is an idea which ought to be part of the solution being trumpeted as the solution. Road charging+decentralised services+decent public transport+retail planning organised for public transport use woukd start to look like a workable package, but that's not what we have on offer.

Instead we have road pricing being combined with even more centralisation of hospitals and schools; those school run traffic jams are a direct result of a policies guaranteed to create them, and the reliance on PFI funding for publc buildings is making it unaffordably expensive to reverse those decisions. Retailers are fleeing from town centres, employment is being made so flexible that people cannot plan on living near their jobs, rail freight is at ridiculously low levels, public transport is mostly dire outside London, and long distance rail is crazily overpriced (rationing by price at work there!) and mostly at its capacity limit.

This government promised joined-up thinking, but on transport its policies look a tangled ball of string that's been attacked by a psychotic with scissors. And none of the other major political parties seem able to grasp that as a problem with so many causes, congestion needs a multi-factorial solution.

So we'll end up, as usual, with a result which combines most of the worst of all worlds: high road pricing with people still unable to avoid much of the current road usage. Instead of sitting in traffic jams, the result will be marginal gains from smoothing the peaks of congestion, and people will be sitting in traffic jams, just paying handsomely for the privilege. Well done, chaps: another fine British mess awaits us :(
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Hamsafar
The only reason they are in a position to sell us the idea of congestion charging, is because they have spent the last 10 years creating the congestion. It's plain for all to see in almost every city, forests of unneccessary traffic lights, zebra crossings replaced with slooooow pelicans, right arrow lights replaced with right filter phases, phantom phases, delay gates, crimson tides, lights that go gree for two seconds, it's infuriating for anyone not yet mentally retarded by it all.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - madf
No no NO.
You are all wrong.

Too many vehicles = road congestion.

Population increasing = more vehciles.

Solve the population problem = solve vehicle congestion. (as Roger Jones says: even th spuerhuman Mr Prescott can only drive 1 car at a time).

We are a small island with population concentrated in a few areas.

So do we ensure shops/schools and offices are coveniently located ?

Nope . We spread them out and build new housing estates far from working areas.

And we encourage immigration (this is NOT an anti immigration rant). Over 250,000 immigrants a year - mostly economically active so driving a car.

It's hardly rocket science.


madf
The hypocrisy in road pricing - v0n
madf - you would happen to go by another nickname on certain godfather themed UK forum, would you? :)
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[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Mapmaker
>>> hence not presenting the neutral stance one expects from the BBC.

Oh cheesy one. Where have you been all these years? Kindergarten?
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Westpig
there's only one way out of it........subsidise & dramatically increase the scope of public transport.......make it seriously cheaper than a car.... those that need to or still want to, will drive..... the rest will go with the saving in the wallet

i have no objection whatsoever if my taxes go into that.

however it would need a radical re-think wouldn't it.......

how many rail links, in the middle of nowhere, have a seriously expensive car park, that you have to pay a daily charge for.......why?........why isn't it free, so that more people use it, plus a decent amount of security etc......sure it will cost, but worth it to free up our roads

i note in the papers recently the rail fare increases.....so it's a no-win then
The hypocrisy in road pricing - cheddar
Oh cheesy one. Where have you been all these years?
Kindergarten?


Rather lacking in constructive critique and erring on the patronising!

Though I disagree with you!

I find most BBC phone-ins fairly well balanced and the presenters equally so. Victoria Derbyshire who normally does the morning show on 5 Live does a good job though she is on maternity leave and Mathew Bannister, who is holding the fort, is not so measured IMO.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - artful dodger {P}
There is an interesting article commenting on road pricing in today's Telegraph by Chris Grayling. The following quote about the Eddington Report is most illuminating.

Ten years ago, Labour came to power with great intentions. They promised change and an integrated transport policy. Nine years and eight major transport strategy documents later, things are getting worse not better. The publication of the latest document, the Eddington Report, was eagerly awaited as the great hope to finally turn things round. Sir Rod, the former head of British Airways, was asked by the Government to set out a vision for transport and the economy post-2015. The trouble is that it doesn't tell us anything we don't already know. Another strategy document, more analysis, but no clear blueprint for a way forward.

As my researcher put it when he read the report: "It's a statement of the bleedin' obvious." But that's hardly surprising. Because underneath the veneer, this isn't an independent report at all. Sir Rod returned to his native Australia months ago, and is now doing a variety of different jobs, including a transport study for the state of Victoria. Most of the work on his report has been done by civil servants from the Department for Transport. And there are rumours that the delay in publication (it was originally due in the summer) was prompted by a Treasury exercise to expunge anything that would cost money.

So what we have is a document that says not very much, and when it does say something, it gets things the wrong way round.

tinyurl.com/yxlzfy

Overall I feel there is plenty that can be done to reduce congestion by allowing more flexible working in large companies and selective road improvements. The total cost of developing and implementing road pricing is a no brainer, it is going to be expensive and not 100% accurate. Any political party who thinks this is the route to go will be following a route to political suicide. Voters want less congestion and do not want to pay even more in taxes. So charging up to £1.28 per mile will never be acceptable to the vast majority - especially if any other taxes like road fund licence, excise duty, etc remain in any form.



--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - The Lawman
Road pricing may well be a good idea and may reduce congestion.

However, does anyone here really seriously believe that the gov of the day will reduce other charges or taxes so as to ensure that the total "tax take" does not go up?

If you believe that, you are living in cloud cuckoo land.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Snakey
There was some 'expert' on the local news last week here in Newcastle claiming that car ownership was set to rise by 50% in the next 10 years - what sort of unproven rubbish claim is this?

Surely, as the point was made above, that car ownership is almost at its maximum now? Short of a massive population explosion we aren't going to drive many more cars (give or take the odd 100,00) over the next decade. Unless of course we learn to drive two cars simultaneously. People are buying newer cars more often - mainly due to crippling repair costs on older cars failing MOTs on emissions etc.

Road pricing is another tax. Simple as that. When it inevitably introduced, I very much doubt Road Tax will disappear and I'm sure the 80% duty on fuel will remain the same.
The hypocrisy in road pricing - Dalglish
Short of a massive population explosion we aren't going to drive many more cars (

>>

in my locality, over the last three years, we have had an influx of czech, polish, and hungarian migrants. initially they were all bar none getting around on bicycles.

now they are moving up to banger cars.

The hypocrisy in road pricing - Nsar
now they are moving up to banger cars."

The bounders!

I've got the answer - let's have road pricing but only for immigrants.....
The hypocrisy in road pricing - boxsterboy
The fact is that road building, like house building has not kept pace with the increase in population. So it can be little wonder that there is such congestion.

They want road pricing to force us off the roads onto public transport, right? Well I get the tube to work and today we were held for 15 minutes in Waterloo ticket hall, because of ... overcrowding. So if road pricing does force us out of our cars, how are we supposed to get to work?

Road pricing has nothing to do with road congestion, but everything to do with dreaming up new excuses to tax us more.

The hypocrisy in road pricing - DP
I take the Tube from Zone 6 to Zone 1. Seats are all full after three stops (Zone 5) and the train is rammed full by Zone 3. People stand on platforms like lemons while a ram packed train pulls off and leaves them there.

Same with overground trains. South West Trains are now talking about removing toilets and seats to increase standing room because the overcrowding situation has got so bad.

Where are all these people being priced off the road expected to go, exactly? The government conveniently forgets that part.
 

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