Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Road pricing

The suggestion that road pricing will solve congestion problems in our towns and cities is, I believe, misguided. The news this morning carried a lengthy piece focusing on London and a tri-city initiative between Leicester, Derby and Nottingham. It's one thing to attempt to get motorists off the roads, but until there is an integrated transport system in place as an alternative, people will continue to drive. Bus deregulation is a mess and my maxim re train privatisation has always been that if there was ever one national industry that was not ripe for privatisation it was the the railways. Things were not peachy under British Rail, but I don't remember it being any worse than the current situation and it was a hell of a lot cheaper for the taxpayer while it went about it.
Moreover, as we saw when some local councils proposed to charge people with cars that pollute more than others more money to park, those that can afford it will carry on regardless while those less well off can whistle.

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