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Road Pricing - Good or Bad?

(72 Posts)
suedonim Mon 13-Jun-05 16:50:35

Seeing as we're having a car-related day on MN (pavement parking, insurance etc) I wondered what Mumsnetters thought about the plans for Road Pricing.

suedonim Mon 13-Jun-05 19:40:16

No one got an opinion?

ambrosia Mon 13-Jun-05 19:43:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NomDePlume Mon 13-Jun-05 19:45:06

won't it cost a bloody fortune in admin ?

Xena Mon 13-Jun-05 19:47:28

I think so NDP. But it winds me up when the women down the road drives the 10 min walk to school. It also make me angry when on the small road juction by the school there is a car parked on the edge on the double yellow lines.

suedonim Mon 13-Jun-05 20:03:04

A pound a mile?? We're 600 miles from MIL and our other relations so it would cost us over 1K to see our family? That's outrageous.

What about the fact that someone in their 1-litre engined car will be paying the same as a gigantic gas guzzler? There'll be no incentive to go for environmentally better (or less bad??) vehicles.

ambrosia Mon 13-Jun-05 20:15:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Janh Mon 13-Jun-05 20:16:20

Motorways at peak times £1.34 a mile. (Rural roads most of the time 2p a mile.) If it made it more expensive to drive than to use public transport it would make some people think twice; DD1, who lives in Leeds and gets to work on the bus, says she does get cross waiting at the bus-stop for her stop-start trip into town seeing the vast majority of the cars clogging the roads with one person in.

Maybe these black boxes could also check the number of passengers and price accordingly (less for a carful, obv )

Janh Mon 13-Jun-05 20:18:14

And they know what car it is so it could be adjusted to allow for gas-guzzlers?

ambrosia Mon 13-Jun-05 20:18:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SenoraPostrophe Mon 13-Jun-05 20:20:56

I've always thought it would be better to tax cars by petrol used/distance covered rather than per year. When I was at university and used to hitch in for lessons - at least 2 (student) drivers told me guiltily that they wouldn't drive into university, only they have already paid the road tax, insurance etc.

However I don't like the black box business. I would be happier if they just abolished road tax and put it all on petrol - so people driving gas guzzlers would also pay more. And they could do the same with some kind of minimal insurance too (I think they do that in Australia, or did I imagine that?)

SenoraPostrophe Mon 13-Jun-05 20:21:46

ambrosia - how about you pay half the petrol cost? (because car sharing isn't good in and of itself really)

NotQuiteCockney Mon 13-Jun-05 20:22:16

I'm in favour of this. Even if they don't charge less for a carful, you can presumably share the cost between the passengers, anyway.

My favourite media coverage was on some radio station. They had a soundbite of an outraged guy saying: "I'll get a pushbike!" Like, er, good. That's what these sorts of plans are meant to cause - people moving away from cars.

hoxtonchick Mon 13-Jun-05 20:23:32

i thought the proposal was to abolish road tax & take all the duty off petrol (ie 80% of the price) if road pricing was introduced. which kind of makes sense. but i may not have been listening to dp terribly closely....

NotQuiteCockney Mon 13-Jun-05 20:23:39

SP, the problem with putting it all on petrol is that that charges country people unfairly. If you live in the middle of nowhere, you do have to drive everywhere (and you're probably relatively poor). If you live in Zone 2 (as I do), you don't really need to drive (and you're probably relatively rich).

paolosgirl Mon 13-Jun-05 20:24:17

Absolutely NO WAY. We've just voted against it here near Edinburgh - there was a big referedum, and it was voted out by a massive majority. Do our voices just not count?
It's fine if you can take public transport - but what about the millions of us that simply can't? They should be investing all this money, not in the systems that will allow raod pricing, but on alternatives to petrol, or looking at real tax incentives for people driving small cars, or penalising those driving large ones.
Taxing motorways more heavily will just force people onto the smaller roads, thereby causing even more congestion in the places that can't cope.
Is this Govt completely mad????

NotQuiteCockney Mon 13-Jun-05 20:30:02

But they aren't talking about making more tax money from drivers (necessarily) - just taking more money from those who are driving at inappropriate times/places.

If they get rid of the road tax, and get rid of tax on petrol, then this makes sense. Apparently one insurance company is already doing its charges this way. This way, it will be cheaper to own the car, the expensive thing will be driving it on busy roads.

Niddlynono Mon 13-Jun-05 20:31:44

My main worry is how it's going to affect family life. I don't know anyone who doesn't have relatives in another part of the country. This system will mean it costs hundreds of pounds to take DS to see his grandparents. I don't think this is the answer to over congested roads.

Niddlynono Mon 13-Jun-05 20:34:37

Sorry Suedonim, I missed your other post and you'd already mentioned relatives.

paolosgirl Mon 13-Jun-05 20:35:54

Driving them at inappropriate times on inappropriate roads? What - like trying to get to work for 9am because that's when you start? Or driving on the motorway because that is the only road you can use?
Road pricing does not take account of the local situation - it puts a blanket charge on the entire country, so people living in towns with good public tranpsort links are not affected too much, and those living miles from work, or in the country are hammered.
Exactly how is that fair and just? There are far better ways of raising taxes.

zebraZ Mon 13-Jun-05 20:36:19

Rural people should be better off under this scheme, because they drive on relatively uncongested roads.

Imagine you only paid 5p/litre for petrol, and the average per mile charge on most roads was only 3p/mile. That would be much cheaper than the current per mile costs for petrol (more like 12-20p/mile)

The devil is in the detail, but I think it could be a really good idea.

I've heard that a 4% reduction in traffic would lead to a 40% reduction in congestion, and I believe it.

The Olympics came to Los Angeles in 1984. Los Angelinos were extremely concerned that the motorway system (never good at the best of times) would grind to a halt. During the 2 weeks of the Olympics people were encouraged to shift their journeys by one hour, take holidays, work flexitime or from home... a wonderful transformation happened. the freeways cleared up and people said it was like driving in the 1950s again. Little traffic, smooth flow. After the Olympics people drifted back to their old habits and traffic in LA continues awful to this day. But the road pricing scheme could be just the outside pressure needed to help people negotiate more flexible working hours & conditions, give them better lives, ease road congestion, could be a really good thing.

SenoraPostrophe Mon 13-Jun-05 20:36:56

NQC - they could do a voucher scheme for people who live in the country or something - would be much cheaper to implement than a road pricing scheme. There aren't many poor people in a lot of country areas these days though - have you not seen the house prices?

I'm not particularly against this, but it does make some sense. they should sort out the railways first though.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 13-Jun-05 20:38:48

paolosgirl - the road pricing scheme is meant to be on a road-by-road basis, from what I know. Country roads will be cheaper than city roads. Driving late at night will be cheaper than rush hour.

If people have popular expensive trips to make, they will sort out carpools, I hope. If all the cars I see slowly going into central London had two people in them, rather than one, that would reduce the pollution by 50% and increase everyone's travelling speed, too.

Milliways Mon 13-Jun-05 20:38:58

They discussed this on TopGear yesterday. Clarkson made the good point that those with huge gas guzzling cars would benefit most as Fuel tax would be scrapped, & someone in a huge 4x4 or sports car would pay the same for a journey as someone in a tiny frugal diesel.

charleepeters Mon 13-Jun-05 20:39:00

I think its a bad idea - it may lessen conjestion on roads but for some people who cant afford to pay money like that need to use a car for work and to take there kids to school ect, i mean if dp cant get to work to make the money to pay to use the bloomin car then what will we do?

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