End of the Road for Pay As-You-Go
I read this seeming obit for national congestion charging while on a train to Rotterdam yesterday (hence the slow posting lately); ironically, I came across it in the Daily Telegraph, not normally what I’d be reading but it was all the train station newsstand had — in any case it was the Telegraph which had backed a petition against the scheme.
It’s the economy, in a word, that’s killed it; traffic volumes are already down, and it’s a seemingly a political non-starter to ask drivers to pay more — even if it would get them out of congestion (or help reduce other externalities). It’s probably not the end of pricing itself.
Despite ditching national road pricing, the Government is carrying on with a series of technology trials which could pave the way for local pricing schemes.
However Lord Adonis insisted that any council looking to charge motorists for driving would have to prove they had public support to do so.
His decision to drop national road pricing was condemned by Stephen Joseph, executive director of the Campaign for Better Transport.
“I think this is completely unrealistic,” he said.
“If road use continues to grow, some means will have to be found to deal with it. If we are not to have old-fashioned Soviet rationing by queues, sooner or later a Government will have to look at pricing.”
And on another subject, one of the pleasures of an old-fashioned newspaper is that, a few pages later, in the letters section on the opinion page, I stumbled upon one of those random, wonderful quintessences of Englishness: Tips — many, many tips — from readers on how to remove stains from tea-pots.
This entry was posted on Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 9:49 am and is filed under Cars, Cities, Commuting, Congestion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.