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Monday, 10 February 2020

Road Pricing - an idea for Boris' second term

Roger Bootle in the Telegraph this morning outlines a number of measures to improve the UK's productivity - the last of which is road pricing. Personally, I like the idea - replacing VED with an ad valorem tax would help, say, older rural motorists who only drive maybe once or twice a week to the shops and will penalise the single occupant sales rep doing thousands of unnecessary miles and choking the road system. I also like using public transport and park and ride - I was made to be driven, not to do the menial work.  

However, I can hear the creaking of rising hackles. This is not an idea for Boris to introduce before 2024. For a start, we need our own GPS satellite system in place - and a better use of a few billions I cannot imagine - and road pricing introduction will be accutely sensitive to both fuel prices and advances in electric and autonomous vehicles. We also need to take drivers out of the cabs of all vehicles running on steel rails within the M25 and automate to double or triple track capacity. Automated trains can have much closer running distances than manned units.

And we need a few years to allow people to get used to the idea that having roads clogged with single-occupant ICE vehicles is simply daft.

30 comments:

Sackerson said...

Discount for potholes?

r_writes esq. said...

I don't believe that even though we designed and built them, that the EU is going to allow us to "benefit" from the revenue raising opportunities that our Gallileo satellites might well have presented. The EU has taken so long about it, as it does with everything, that it is outlasting its relevance... Wot with the klimate emergency.... blah blah..... They will be used instead to manage the class of worker that will become known as "driver". Of course such titles will only exist until we perfect remote operation.

The problem with providing enough charging points and enough current (toboot) to service the needs of millions of users of private vehicles, is thus removed from this really difficult political conundrum.

What is more likely to happen is what Raedwald has described as his life in London, before Austria. Reportedly, he didn't own a car, and he hired a "chaise" when he needed it... A chaise being whatever the appropriate vehicle of the moment might be....

People will just stop bothering to spend fortunes on something that holds no useful value unless it is being used up to 24 hours a day as a business tool, the government having simultaneously squeezed every available tax penny out of the industry beforehand.

Such a way with personal transport is historically the norm, nobody ever owned a vehicle unless it was their business in Dickens' London, Hackney Carriages being an example.

Where I think that road pricing might have a future, might be intercity, but we will need "smart drivers" to negotiate the "smart motorways", so that is the normal citizen removed once again from a nice little revenue stream.

Follow the money.


DeeDee99 said...

As a semi-retired rural driver who now only does around 7000 miles a year, I quite like the idea of road pricing as well. Realistically, it's the only way we'll stand a chance of reducing traffic flow levels and encouraging people to use (a far better standard) of public transport.

But how to charge the foreign drivers on our roads? Send them a bill when they've left the country? That has no more chance of being paid than the bills we send to Nigerian women who travel to the UK to have their babies on the "free" NHS.

JPM said...

Oh, so leaving the European Union does not allow the UK just to sit smugly on its islands and to blow raspberries at it then?

I thought that it was supposed to do exactly that, r-w?

Mark said...

Will you give it a fucking rest!!!!

r_writes esq. said...

Oh dear JPM, leaving the EU does not mean (unfortunately) that it ceases to exist.

... And clearly, you have not read a single post by any of the commenters or the author of this site, since you are the only one that seems to have missed out on the fact that we have only just pulled the first brick out.

Our raspberries can come later.

DiscoveredJoys said...

@JPM

Troll.

DiscoveredJoys said...

@ r_writes esq

Yes, it's a multilayer jigsaw putting together a new road transport infrastructure. Yet perhaps the Government have to consider only the larger items and let consumers (of electricity) sort out the remainder.

So power stations - government direction
National grid - government direction
Domestic solar cells and power walls that can also be charged with off-peak electricity - consumer
Local charging points - consumer choice to drive investment or Supermarkets to provide at cost
Road pricing - government
Local public transport - consumer choice to drive investment (buses and local rail are great *if* they are available when needed)

Underpinning all this is the projected spread of AI 'drivers' to reduce costs of public transport. It seems just a dream at present but I suspect it will be ubiquitous by 2035.

Dave_G said...


I sneer at the opportunity for 'off peak' electricity. I guarantee that it will be the same price as on-peak electricity is now and on-peak will be hideously more expensive still and why?? Because the first step will be to make smart meters compulsory. None of the planned road (and EV) changes can even stand a snowflakes without full control of the national grid and energy distribution generally.

I'm in a remote location and we've just had notice that a mast for smart meters is to be built - no one has a smart meter locally. No one (as far as I know) wants one.

Ominous.

microdave said...

What Dave_G says.

"Boris' second term"

He won't have one unless this insane "Zero Carbon" obsession is put to rest. Once the public FINALLY realise what it means to their way of life, nobody will vote for a him - or anyone else who thinks it's O.K. to use the British public as guinea pigs.

Bucko said...

When Boris has banned all the cars, the issue won't be a problem anymore. Likewise when he's banned all the central heating and we're all dead after the first harsh winter

Anonymous said...

Bucko is right, we won't all be getting electric car and when we all have 'smart meters' we won't all get turned off at the same time.

Every road will become a 'Zil lane'. For the rest of us, we will keep a cow downstairs to keep us warm in winter and provide some milk.

Smoking Scot said...

Boris must get an acceptable deal first.

However he and his chancellor seem to have a mind to tax houses, pensions, continue overseas aid, shift the goalposts for a carbon neutral future and attempt HS2.

To many he appears to be streets away from what people expected of him - and that includes the President of the US.

So I'm not sure he or his party will get a 2nd term.

r_writes esq. said...

@Smoking Scot:

Ah do you remember the old days, when Joe Lynch and David Bluthal made us all laugh, with "Never mind the quality, feel the width"?

We never realised that one day, comedy would be real life.

Dadad1 said...

Hey, don't forget this old retired pensioner who drives his grandchildren to school every day, 50 minutes each way.
Road pricing? No thank you.

APL said...

"replacing VED with an ad valorem tax would help,"

What do you think fuel duty is?

"the single occupant sales rep doing thousands of unnecessary miles "

Yes. Put the cost of the things the Sales rep's company sells up. 'cos there'll definitely be no knock on effect on thepoor pensioner.

jim said...

Let me see, productivity is about useful work in versus useful work out. Our first problem is that many UK workers put in less than they take out - hence our poor productivity numbers. So, hard to see how road pricing helps much unless it eliminates waste in some way, discouraging the useless and promoting the useful.

Snag is that it is hard to tell whether the useful people are using the roads or the useless people. Price may not be much of a deterrent, that depends on the sources of funding behind the useless people and the useful people. We may well end up spending a lot of money on electronic gizmos, databases and billing systems only to find the useless are getting their money from corporate and governmental bonanzas and are still getting in the way of useful workers driving the economy along.

Unless you can tell the difference the effort and money spent is err unproductive and if you can tell the difference you don't necessarily need road pricing.

As for our own GSM system, is this the civilian one or the military one? The civilian version is no better than Galileo. The military version merely an expensive way to avoid paying Galileo dues and crawling to the EU.

Then some sort of auto track vehicles to take say 800 people every 20 minutes from Central London, zoom through South London squeezing 3 sideways down Polhill tunnel and screeching to a halt at Sevenoaks where the locals jump out into leccy taxis and the rest transfer wearily to old rails. A lot of money and effort for very little benefit I think.

The UK suffers from being an overpaid, over-middle class society. More education and any sort of industrial/business strategy plus a lot more meritocracy are more likely our road to salvation. Think South Korea without the National Trust.

jim said...

Oops GPS.

John Brown said...

Jim @ 13:32 : “The military version [of Galileo] merely an expensive way to avoid paying Galileo dues and crawling to the EU.”

The reason the UK cannot continue with Galileo was because unless we are deeply involved in the development and construction our military will not be able to “assure” that the GPS signal will not be blocked or spoofed.

I recommend listening to the BBC WS HARDtalk interview dated 21/09/2018 with the UK Space Agency CEO, Graham Turnock, where he says:

“We needed to have deep industrial participation in order for us to be able to verify the security capabilities of the system.”

The EU are not offering “deep industrial participation”- just access to the signal.

John Brown said...

Road pricing is inevitable as it will be seen to be able to replace the enormous revenue the government currently receives on fuel duty and VAT when ICE vehicles are phased out and can be easily made dependent on vehicle size and distance driven.

[VED will continue as no government will cancel such a good revenue earner.]

It will also be sold to the public as a way to reduce traffic jams and making better use of our existing road network by pricing according to the time of day.

Therefore expect lorries to be using the roads all through the night to minimise road pricing charges, especially when AI drivers are introduced.

I can also see the use of AI driven motorhomes to get overnight cheaply to next day appointments.

Nessimmersion said...

Talk about a solutipn in search of a problem. How many people knowing the track record of competence displayed by our govt think that the road pricing proposed will barely cover its collection costs.
VED at least is simple, directly related to fuel efficiency/mileage and is simple to collect.

Nessimmersion said...

Can one of our worthy MPs intoduce a private members bill that all parliamentary, police and council transport must be 100% by leccy before it is rolled out to the general public in order to give "confidence"
A sure fire publicity winner for someone methinks

Dave_G said...


LOL - public services using EV's???? I get the /sarc aspect but, yes, a dose of real world to awaken the 'woke' wold be a fun thing to watch.

Except the inordinately expensive vehicles will, of course, come from our pockets.

EV2 anyone?

microdave said...

All parliamentary, police and council transport must be 100% by leccy before it is rolled out to the general public in order to give "confidence"

Good luck with that...

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7822791/Police-waste-1-5million-electric-cars-useless-catching-criminals.html

Anonymous said...

Road pricing in itself not a bad idea but NOT in addition to:
VED
Fuel Duty
Congestion charge
ULEZ charge
LEZ charge.

Then it becomes yet another mobility tax on poorer motorists
-The rich pay and laugh.
-Cabs,Haulage,Busses pay and pass it on
- Joe Driver gets another mugging

Catch the bus Citizen. You’re not driving anywhere.

Anonymous said...

At the rate the country is impoverishing itself, won't people be walking, scootering or receiving Red Cross parcels (Amazon or Post Office deliveries)?

terence patrick hewett said...

Of course we need to take the drivers out of railed vehicles. We also need to take the rails away from railed vehicles. Driverless AV technology has made railed guidance from A to B redundant.

Mr Ecks said...



John Brown--You are a real crawler.

Blojo is not 8 wks past a massive win gained by doing what the people want and the fucker is already back on the globo elite/BluLabour train --slinging warmed over Camoron/Treason May shite and pushing lying Marxist ecofreak cockrot.

They want us out of our cars and shivering without cheap heat as well as eating fucking bugs. Or maybe just dead . A mass virus attack would be a way to get rid of the 6.5 billion of us they want gone for their UN Agenda 21 "sustainable" paradise--paradise for the "elite" that is.

Unluckily for them it doesn't work that way:

https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2020/02/10/the-bio-weapon-theory-of-the-china-epidemic/



Fuck road pricing and fuck all eco-freak bullshit . There is no global warming and the personal car is staying.

Get ready for war.

Mark said...

Absolutely, most of it is unworkable wank and will not happen.

It's the damage they will do trying to enforce it.

I believe there are diesel gensets parked in fields totalling about 1.5GWh covering when bird mincers and other "renewables" fail.

You really couldn't make it up.

Span Ows said...

I'm tending to Mr.Ecks comment on this.

The WA, HS2, eco lunacy, lefty taxes etc...Boris is Theresa on steroids.