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Road Congestion Charges

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posted on Feb, 2 2007 @ 04:27 PM
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Part 2

We have to face up to the fact that we may have to loose some of our land. Building flood defnces is expensive and they have a short shelf life. People in flood zones may have to move, it costs billions in insurance due to these events so some hard choices will have to be made.

Land we have reclaimed from the sea may have to be given back, one cannot stop natures actions. Its all going to cost but then it always dose.

Would it be better to let nature take its course, look at london around the thames, millenia ago it was marshes and made up of small islands. The marshes were drained and the land filled in. The people of the time would not of known of global warming etc. So whats the choice build a new barrier costing billions that may or may not work or do we concede that we may have to loose part of the city.

Others around the world do not get a choice if they live near an active volcano or fault zone. The earth does its thing and we have to scoot out the way if we want to live.

Is any of this achievable, would people take notice I dont know time will only tell.




posted on Feb, 2 2007 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by magicmushroom
Yes sminkey I have plenty of idea's but Im sure you will just think its my paranoia or I am doing a u turn.


- As if I would mm.


Thanks, interesting, some nice ideas there.


But we have to also consider total costs, it's very understandable to say we should junk what exists now and switch to 'greener' methods but if the total carbon cost is such that it's more polluting to do that then, of course, we shouldn't.

Sometimes the greener thing to do is to minimise the harm from what we have - and make conscious but efficient use of the energy and carbon inverstment already made - and then replace when the time comes at the end of a regular life-cycle.

It's a whole different way of looking a things and some of the views put about by cynics couldn't be further from the mark.



posted on Feb, 13 2007 @ 12:44 PM
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If anybody on UK politics feels particularly strongly about this issue, then the government has kindly constructed an online petition area where people can take their petitions directly to No.10.

One gentleman has set up an online petition questioning the road toll charges and, so far, 1.34 MILLION
people have signed it. That's a significant movement. Here's the link...

petitions.pm.gov.uk...

The Daily Mail reports that there seems to be internal governmental conflict on the issue...


Senior ministers have vented their anger at Downing Street for allowing petitions on its website.
One high-ranking member of the Government said the idea had been dreamt up by a "prat" and was proving to be a public relations disaster.


Yes, a very democratic reply.

The Guardian, meanwhile, seems to focus more on an eco-warning by the Transport Secretary rather than the voice of over one million people.


Mr Alexander dismissed some of the petitioners' arguments as "myths" and warned motorists the government had no choice but to deal with "the growing problem of congestion". "We don't have the kind of luxury of doing nothing, if we are not going to see the kind of gridlock found in American cities," he said.


Now, this is all a rather predictable left rag versus right rag story. So rather than argue the case for what I believe is correct I thought i would bring the thread back to its roots and offer the chance to voice a meaningful opinion on the matter. If you don't want road congestion charges, then there's a petition you can sign.

The rather tired argument from 'Friends of the Earth' quoted from the Guardian below is not really constructive in any shape or form.


But environmental campaigners have urged ministers to stand firm over the proposal despite the online complaints.

Friends of the Earth has warned that protests threaten to undermine the government's effort to curb car use. "Road pricing is not a magic bullet solution to Britain's transport problems, but it is part of the answer," said Tony Bosworth, the campaign group's senior transport campaigner. "The biggest transport problem we face is not congestion, it's climate change."


No. The biggest problem is that car manufacturers are not being forced by international governments to move to more efficient engines with alternative fuels which pollute on a far smaller scale. My personal politics on most matters oppose governmental interference, but i'd rather see car manufacturers losing some profit by being forced to research and develop than seeing the British taxpayer being raped over and over.



posted on Feb, 13 2007 @ 01:03 PM
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'Greener' cars etc are part of the answer but they so obviously are not the entire answer.

They do nothing for instance to solve the growing 'grid-lock' problems more and more of the country is experiencing.

.....and a 1 million petition on the net isn't impressing me much that's 59 million (ok, kiddies excepted it's what about 30million adults that haven't signed?) that haven't signed up.

If you have a look at what they petiton on there it reads like a Daily Mail message board, self-selecting and no way to ensure it's completely 'honest', it's hardly something you can treat with 100% confidence.



posted on Feb, 13 2007 @ 02:42 PM
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I cannot endorse a tax on people who need. I honestly thought your political opinion would oppose that, Sminkey. There are way too many people out there who are travelling long distances from one side of a city to another to make their living. The low earners who do this will be punished badly in comparison to a guy who works in the financial district, can afford to live in a city centre apartment, and then walks, cycles or tubes to work.

I have to admit that I was unaware that the pay-as-you-drive plan was a direct replacement for fuel duty and road tax, though...

'Pay-as-you-go' road charge plan

It does reek of a poll tax. The more you use, the more you pay. Regardless of ability to pay or employment circumstance.

The other thing I am uncomfortable with is any form of satellite tracking. A police state, left or right, is not desireable in any shape or form.

It probably would ease congestion in city centres, but at the cost of people going longer trips through the countryside where the tolls are less. This will invariably lead to higher pollution levels not only in the countryside, but overall. I could envisage the constant gear changes, with associated higher engine revolutions, and constant breaking required on smaller roads off of motorways would contribute more to pollution than straight line driving.

From a paper on the Environment from The Campaign for Political Ecology


Perhaps less well appreciated is that the efficiency of road vehicles is influenced considerably by how they are driven. 10-20% savings can be achieved by a slight reduction in cruising speed and avoidance of unnecessary braking and accelerating.


This is found under the section 'Energy Use for Transport'.



posted on Feb, 13 2007 @ 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by boyg2004
I cannot endorse a tax on people who need. I honestly thought your political opinion would oppose that, Sminkey.


- Ah, but you haven't heard the full idea behind it.

Basically I'd go for a form of rationing.

10 gallons/45litres a week at an affordable price (administered through a licence plate/driving licence ID) and from then on up the tax gets ever more ferocious.

That way you look after the people in the countryside, the least well off and those using efficient vehicles.
The gas-guzzlers get it in the neck tho.

(But we do already know tho that the bulk of journeys are either unnecessary or short.)


I have to admit that I was unaware that the pay-as-you-drive plan was a direct replacement for fuel duty and road tax, though.


- A lot of people have rushed to judgement on this and more than a few simply don't believe they'd (of which ever political 'colour') ever follow through on that part of it.


It does reek of a poll tax.


- I disagree.

The poll tax was a flat rate single 'price', an annual charge at one price for all, that's nothing like the same thing as a single rate per mile used.


The more you use, the more you pay.


- Well that is the whole point, those who use the most pay the most.

It doesn't really matter how much people want to refuse to face up to this but sooner or later we will have to.

The whole point is to free up the clogged roads and ease the gridlock.

I don't see any other workable suggestion(s) out there.


Regardless of ability to pay or employment circumstance.


- There will always be exceptions and people caught on the margins but it's not like the 2 ideas are so divorced from each other, a lot of people who have to really travel serious mileages for work usually are getting some sort of salary or specific compensation for it.

Business users will probably find themselves with their own arrangements (as is he case here now with some of the various duties).


The other thing I am uncomfortable with is any form of satellite tracking. A police state, left or right, is not desireable in any shape or form.


- Like I said, we can kid ourselves that there is an easy way out of this or we can face the issue head-on.

We can also try and divert ourselves from taking this seriously and pretend that facing up to this matter and exercising some sort of control using technology = a Police state.


It probably would ease congestion in city centres, but at the cost of people going longer trips through the countryside where the tolls are less.


- Well it's undoubtedly the case that an element of this is going on now (as people escape to whatever rural routes they can to avoid congestion) but the idea that it means a clogged countryside is IMO a red herring (because of the truth that it is happening to some degree already where it is possible - which is not going to be the case everywhere anyway).

In any event the whole point is a better and more efficient use of the existing infrastructure, so clearly that would entail a use of some routes now under-used.
Or people travelling at times when there is likely to be less connection.

The timing of journeys will (under this scheme) matter a great deal too.


This will invariably lead to higher pollution levels not only in the countryside, but overall.


- I totally disagree with this, how could it, if this leads to less congestion and traffic moving more freely?


From a paper on the Environment from The Campaign for Political Ecology


Perhaps less well appreciated is that the efficiency of road vehicles is influenced considerably by how they are driven. 10-20% savings can be achieved by a slight reduction in cruising speed and avoidance of unnecessary braking and accelerating.


This is found under the section 'Energy Use for Transport'.


- This is true but it in itself has nothing to offer on the point of congested roads.

More efficient and cleaner cars capable of running more efficiently and cleaner do not in themselves solve the problem of gridlocked roads......and being caught in lengthy jams is hardly an environment for the efficient running of a car.

[edit on 13-2-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



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