Friday 23 February 2007

A different take on Road Pricing; UK Transport

Given Tony Blair's email response to the road pricing petition on the No.10 website there has been much reflection on the issue of transport in the UK.

No doubt, there are many reasons to be against road pricing and it does not surprise me that the feeling against it is so strong. 85% of UK passenger Journeys' are taken by car; so any tax raid on this element of our life will no doubt be resisted.

However, the Government is in a bind. The Eddington report, which I discussed last year ,has left a number of dilemma's. Air is the best solution to inter-regional travel and is the least expensive but has 'environmental' effects. Rail has had £12 billion a year invested since Hatfield, but capacity increase has been minimal. The roads meanwhile make do with £660 million invested in the Highways Agency, whose existence is now under review by Shriti Vadera at the Treasury.

Even if the massive investment is rail was to double capacity (which is very unrealistic) then this would only have a 3% effect on travel outcomes in the UK. Whereas a smaller investment in road capacity and improvements would have a vastly greater impact on the 85% of all journey's taken.

The case is clear for more road investment is undeniable. Fuel and Motoring taxes generate over 12% of government income, yet total transport spend is 4% (see Treasury Stats).

A future Tory government must grasp this nettle; road pricing or not the roads that are the lungs of our economy must be heavily invested in and the relative waste of resources plunged into Rail must be cut. Failure to do this will increase the transport chaos we face, which is why Labour's policy has been such a failure for the past 10 years; you can't ignore the economic realities and replace them with wishful thinking.


Anonymous said...

What about the alternatives to using roads as well, isn't the idea to keep motorists off them, as well as to travel out of peak hours? We have an appalling rail and public bus system, they offer no attraction to our commuters, and surely this is where attention and investment should be focused.

CityUnslicker said...

I know Ellee, that seems the solution, but without investment in roads the situation gets much worse much more quickly.

We need to invest in buses and public transport; but currently there is only money for rail being porrly spent.

Anonymous said...

I have always been a pay-at-the-point-of-use' proponent, which I think of as a good liberal-economic principle, to be approached open-mindedly by Conservatives. In the UK, the division of what we expect to pay for on this basis vs free-at-the-point-of-use is fairly random - why is social housing provided on a rental basis, for example, but 'social' schooling is not charged for?

Road pricing is a good example of something we're not accustomed to but will quickly learn - and there is a pretty good argument for it (ever used the M6 Toll? £3.50 to avoid Brum - cheap at twice the price). If I read your post correctly, CU, you're probably of the same view, perhaps with the rider that such revenues should be ring-fenced for road investment.

Isn't the issue for the Right primarily the civil-liberties implications of individual vehicle tracking? Only an instinctive stalinist like Livingstone wants 24/7 surveillance to do a job that a simple bucket-and-barrier achieves just as well.

Unfortunately, I think the game is up for the freedom to motor incognito, as there will surely be licence-plate readers on every motorway bridge in the next few years anyway.

The final problem is the way these taxes operate de facto: the law-abiding classes register their vehicles, natch, but non-registration in some areas is endemic - & how keenly does Ken enforce on them, eh? I expect we know the answer.

Which brings us back to fuel duty...

CityUnslicker said...

I have not finally made my mind up Mr Drew; economically road pricing is the way forward and most efficient idea. Yet I do not trust the government (any government) to not abuse this info to grow the state. increasing the price of petrol would have the same effect and be simple and cheap....

I do not even have an Oyster card; I take the civil liberties thing seriously.

What I do think is madness is the over-investment in rail when the overall congestion in the UK is on the roads. We need to invest in transport in general and roads in particular. I agree with you re toll roads; a good idea which works.

Currently the government are in head-in-the-sand mode becuase they have this 'environmental' issue with cars; but cars are what 85% of hourneys utilise and so this political grandstanding is causing great damage.

Newmania said...

The whole problem with road pricing is that it is on top of an attack on the civil Liberty of the driver ,who is also under fiscal attack and has been for the last ten years . It is a great mistake to assume that the protest about road pricing is only about road pricing .

It is not , like the protests about CPZ`s it is an issue that makes concrete the latent feelings of distrust many have for this government.In the hands of a faier administratuon with a reasonbale taxaton base there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the idea

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

C/U, I think rail travel in the UK is so overpriced that only those whose expenses are paid by their companies can afford to use it at peak times, and that is when most of us would NEED to use it. Before I came here I would have said most urban UK bus companies do badly, too - but they are super-efficient compared to here! [That is not true of every Italian city, of course.] I suppose no one is going to give up travelling by car and so we should make the best of it and invest. In Italy, as you will know, motorways operate a toll system and it works well.

CityUnslicker said...

N- I think the protest about road pricing is right in that it highlights the underinvestment in road infrastrucutre. this is part of the protest about more cash raising.

WL - Tolled motorways are the way forward. car trasnport is here to stay for the next couple of generations and the governments will do better to plan for this rather than trying to wish it away.

James Higham said...

The government and many commentators act as if there were some sort of choice in this. The reason most commuters go the way they do is because it is the only practical alternative. Pricing them to bankruptcy is not going to alter that.

Anonymous said...

The government as usual take a very 'London-centric' view on road-use / public transport.

I now live in London and public transport is the only practicle alternative for me.

Unfortunately if you live anywhere but London, public transport is a joke.

When I lived in West Yorkshire taking the bus would double my journey time at least, and since the buses only turned up every half an hour, if one failed to show (as they often did) that would add another half hour to my journey time. So a journey which by car would take 30 minutes would end up taking an hour and a half, half an hour of which would usually involve hanging around in what remained of a bus shelter in freezing wind and rain.

Cars are here for the forseeable future, the best solution would be to offer some kind of tax breaks for companies to stagger their working hours.

CityUnslicker said...

James - well exactly. There is a big head in the sand attitude at the moment. There is a yougov polltoday that shows just how contrary the public is to transport needs.

Anon - very well put. the Government is london centric, outside of the main urban conurbations people need cars, this 'war' on cars and personal transport is just crazy. We need more road investment just to stay still in congestion terms.

Snafu said...

Road congestion will never be 'too bad' as people will naturally find alternative means of transport - whether that is travelling off peak, not making the journey in the first place or reducing the distance between work and home over time. An example of Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' in action perhaps!

Road congestion is a classic economics problem of negative externalities! How many people think their rush hour car commute is not important!?!

If I choose to travel by train during the rush hour commute, I am penalised by a longer journey time and expensive ticket whilst making the roads that much clearer for someone else. Unfortunately, clearer roads will make the roads a slightly more attractive choice for someone else too!!

Road congestion is equitable as it penalises premiership footballers, business people and mums on the school run at the level they value their own time at, not some arbitrary external value.

Anonymous said...

aaaa片, 免費聊天, 咆哮小老鼠影片分享區, 金瓶梅影片, av女優王國, 78論壇, 女同聊天室, 熟女貼圖, 1069壞朋友論壇gay, 淫蕩少女總部, 日本情色派, 平水相逢, 黑澀會美眉無名, 網路小說免費看, 999東洋成人, 免費視訊聊天, 情色電影分享區, 9k躺伯虎聊天室, 傑克論壇, 日本女星杉本彩寫真, 自拍電影免費下載, a片論壇, 情色短片試看, 素人自拍寫真, 免費成人影音, 彩虹自拍, 小魔女貼影片, 自拍裸體寫真, 禿頭俱樂部, 環球av影音城, 學生色情聊天室, 視訊美女, 辣妹情色圖, 性感卡通美女圖片, 影音, 情色照片 做愛, hilive tv , 忘年之交聊天室, 制服美女, 性感辣妹, ut 女同聊天室, 淫蕩自拍, 處女貼圖貼片區, 聊天ukiss tw, 亞亞成人館, 777成人, 秋瓷炫裸體寫真, 淫蕩天使貼圖, 十八禁成人影音, 禁地論壇, 洪爺淫蕩自拍, 秘書自拍圖片,

做愛的漫畫圖片, 情色電影分享區, 做愛ㄉ影片, 丁字褲美女寫真, 色美眉, 自拍俱樂部首頁, 日本偷自拍圖片, 色情做愛影片, 情色貼圖區, 八國聯軍情色網, 免費線上a片, 淫蕩女孩自拍, 美國a片, 都都成人站, 色情自拍, 本土自拍照片, 熊貓貼圖區, 色情影片, 5278影片網, 脫星寫真圖片, 粉喵聊天室, 金瓶梅18, sex888影片分享區, 1007視訊, 雙贏論壇, 爆爆爽a片免費看, 天堂私服論壇, 情色電影下載, 成人短片, 麗的線上情色小遊戲, 情色動畫免費下載, 日本女優, 小說論壇, 777成人區, showlive影音聊天網, 聊天室尋夢園, 義大利女星寫真集, 韓國a片, 熟女人妻援交, 0204成人, 性感內衣模特兒, 影片, 情色卡通, 85cc免費影城85cc, 本土自拍照片, 成人漫畫區, 18禁, 情人節阿性,

Anonymous said...

情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, ut聊天室, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網, 影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友,

免費A片, 本土自拍, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊,