Govt Road Charging Consultation Deadline Tomorrow!!

There’s a consultation on Road Charging, and the deadline is 10 March 2023 – get on it now

Unknown to a lot of people, the authorities are not only planning city-wide and possibly even nationwide road-charging, but is opening talking about it, and is now inviting public consultation responses on it. You’d better respond quickly. I only found out yesterday and the deadline is tomorrow Friday 10th March 2023! Here’s the link and below are my responses to the very loaded questions!

Here’s where you’ll find the actual questions

and this is the email address you need to send your responses too

The questions are heavily loaded in favour of Road Charging, as if it’s pre-determined to go ahead, and all they want to know is ‘HOW’ rather than ‘IF’ they should do it. Nonetheless, it’s worth responding. Below were my responses:

  1. Do the current road user charging systems in London require reform?

No. Maintain the current Congestion Charging and ULEZ charging zones as they stand today in March 2023, do not expand them further and do not revise them for the foreseeable future.

  1. How might smarter road user charging differ from the current daily charges for driving applied in London?

Road user charging is not ‘smarter’ in any sense, because it’s an additional unjustified charge on top of existing road-charging schemes, national annual vehicle tax (Road Tax) and fuel tax and indeed tax on energy charges when it comes to electric cars.

  1. How might charges for driving in London be varied for different types of journeys, such as travelling for work, caring responsibilities or essential services?

This level of complexity would be confusing for the public, and unnecessarily complicate the cost of living, working and leisure activities in London, essentially badly hurting and damaging the London economies as people might just prefer to not visit London at all.

  1. What strategies and targets could smarter road user charging support?

None, as it should not be implemented.

  1. What technology could be used to support smarter road user charging?

None, as it should not be implemented.

  1. How could smarter road user charging assist with tackling current challenges such as traffic, air pollution and climate change?

None, as it should not be implemented.

  1. Are road user charging schemes best set up at a city or regional level, or as a national system, and what benefits or difficulties would you expect with either approach?

Multiple and maximum difficulties in all scenarios, not least of which huge public uproar and opposition. Whatever the cost of road charging will be, it will inevitably be greater than road tax for most drivers.

  1. If smarter road user charging is introduced, which charges or taxes should it replace and how should the current taxes and charges be changed?

None, as it should not be implemented.

  1. What discounts and exemptions would you like to see for any new smarter road charging scheme, for example to help disabled people, those on low incomes, those who need to drive for work, or people who live in areas with low levels of public transport?

None, as it should not be implemented.

  1. If the Government were interested in a national distance-based road user charging scheme, would London be a sensible place for a trial?

Sure, if you want to kill the Capital’s economy and turn it into a ghost town

  1. If distance-based road user charging was introduced, do you think Londoners who drive should pay less in total for vehicle or driving-based charges, the same, or more than they do currently?

How far would that go? How fast you drive, how big is your car, how many people are you carrying? ‘Sorry granny, I can’t afford to give you a lift to your crucial treatment appointment’?! It also raises the alarming question as to how extensively are you monitoring peoples’ activities in their own personal cars, and implies infringement of privacy and civil liberty laws.

  1. Mayors and local authorities currently have powers to introduce new road charging schemes. Do you think anything further is required beyond an electoral mandate for these bodies to use those powers (for example a local referendum)?

Yes, no such steps should be taken without a full, fair, and transparent referendum that everyone, including those living in surrounding areas who will also be affected, can vote on. And the results must be strictly adhered to, unlike your referendum on the ULEZ Expansion which appears to have been duly ignored.

  1. How are other cities and countries working on similar smarter road user charging ideas faring, and what alternatives are they looking at for achieving similar policy goals?

The circumstances of each individual town or city should be examined, analysed and widely consulted on, before any changes are initiated. Too often, far-reaching consequences are not thought-through in detail, particularly in terms of the hardship implications for vast numbers of the communities affected.

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