jaded-irregular

Road Charges Could Crucify The Less Well Off

Here we are on the verge of what I can only describe a one hell of a messed up scheme designed to address the increasing levels of congestion on the countries roads. So, as a motorist, here’s what I think about it.

We don’t yet have full pricing plans, but as an indication, I’ve calculated the cost of my journey to work based on the two prices that do appear in the media (£1.30/mile on motorway and £0.02/mile on country lanes). I have about a 70 mile round trip to get to work and back. Most of this is country lanes and I estimated its probably 2/3 miles a day on the M4 between junctions 28 and 26. So, I’ve worked this out saying 4 miles on the motorway and the other 70 miles on the country lane rate.

This works out to be (£1.30 x 4) + (£0.02 x 70), giving a grand total of £6.60 A DAY!

Lets multiply that up and it becomes £33.00 a week. Taking it to the next stage, there are 52 weeks a year, meaning a total of 260 work days less the 28 days holiday I get. This gives a grand total of 232 days meaning that without any other journeys I will end up being charged £1531.20 just to get to work and back.

Now lets compare that with what I currently pay. £180/year (or there abouts) car tax and then about £25/week in fuel. If we assume that I work for 45 weeks a year, and that 75% of what I pay in fuel costs is tax, thats £843.75. Making a grand total of £1023.75.

So under this new scheme, I believe I will end up paying over £500 more, and that doesn’t include other journeys. For example, I visit my parents. A round trip of about 240 miles, mostly on the motorway. So lets assume its not £1.30/mile but half that because I’m not travelling at peak time. That makes £0.65/mile bringing the cost of the journey up to £156. Nearly the same as road tax costs for a full year.

Sorry for the language, how the f’ can this scheme be fair? Even if I didn’t have to pay car insurance, it still would work out more expensive. Chuck into the equation other trips and well… the average joe will be totally screwed over.

The claim is that public transport will be better as a result of this change, but will public transport collect me from my door in the cold and rain, then transport me and my baggage (I have filled my car with computers and stuff for a long stint at my parents) to my destination without delay, without lots of hanging around. I DOUBT IT! Will I be able to get up and think… oooh, go into work early this morning… 5:30am roll out the door and straight into a waiting public transport vehicle… I DOUBT IT!

This proposal has got to be one of the dumbest ideas this government has ever had. Its right up there with the compulsory ID card that we have to pay for.

What we should really be doing is looking at clamping down on unnecessary car journeys… the kind where mum takes 1 child the 1 mile journey from home to school in a whacking great 3.5L 4WD off roader. For those who think the school rush is a myth… LOL. I used to work in Gloucester. During the school holidays I could practically guarantee when I would get into work. But during term time it was hideous. No two days were the same and the volume of traffic was immense. Not just a minor increase, but an increase capable of producing 2-3 mile tailbacks on areas of road that were ordinarily clear. Ok, I admit, that if they live in the sticks, then driving the kids to school is a viable option, but when each of these monsterous vehicles has mother and a child, it becomes a massive waste. How about taking your friends kids? You could take it in turns… This is the kind of vehicle use that we should be addressing.

Forcing this kind of charging scheme on the average driver is wholey unfair. The car will no longer be viable for those of us who have any distance to drive to/from work. We could be faced with the possiblity that we will simply have to find alternative employment. I for one couldn’t get to work reliably using public transport and even then I believe I would have to change buses on at least 2 occasions meaning periods of standing around waiting. What if I need to take my tools into work… I can’t lug a hunking great toolbag around. What about when I travel for work… how would I get to the airport for example (a journey which is mostly on the motorway)? And visiting my parents? £156 a go. Gone would be the option to just pop up there. I would have to save hard to be able to afford it.

Note:- The costs I’ve used are examples, but they do give a pretty good indication if you just rough it out using say three rates as I’ve done. Once the full list of charge bands is announced, I’ll work this out more accurately.

Related Links:-
BBC News

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