Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pay-Per-Mile? I Seriously Hope Not!

There's a petition available to try and persuade the government to scrap their planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy that would see drivers having to pay for every mile driven and at a variable cost depending on time of day and location. Satellite tracking would be used with charges varying from 2p a mile on rural roads to £1.30 in congested areas.

What a terrible idea! We already pay through the nose for fuel duty and then there's road tax. While the Transport Secretary has stated that the scheme could replace road tax and fuel duty, it'll have a knock-on effect by raising bus and taxi transport prices for everyone. Any business that relies heavily on road use is obviously going to have to pass any increase in costs on as well. The scheme doesn't take into account the environmental impact of vehicle weight or fuel consumption either so someone driving a behemoth monster truck would be charged the same as one driving a mini.

Okay, I agree that road congestion is getting worse and something needs to be done but pricing cars and people off the roads isn't the answer. On top of that, the very fact that the government will be able to track the movements of every vehicle 24/7 isn't going to go down very well with anyone concerned about their personal privacy.

The wording of the petition, created by Peter Roberts, is as follows…

The idea of tracking every vehicle at all times is sinister and wrong. Road pricing is already here with the high level of taxation on fuel. The more you travel - the more tax you pay.

It will be an unfair tax on those who live apart from families and poorer people who will not be able to afford the high monthly costs.

Please Mr Blair - forget about road pricing and concentrate on improving our roads to reduce congestion.

Please consider adding your name to the list, which at the time of writing was standing at over 187,000 names. You can sign up at the 10 Downing Street site on TravelTax E-Petition.

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