Call for £20 4x4 congestion charge

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by Dan U, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. cybertect

    cybertect It's grim up north (London)

    Hmm. I'd not be quite so sure about that. There's a historical pointer in the name: 'Road Fund Licence. While admittedly has not been the official term since 1936, it's still in common use, even in government.

    When the original Road Fund was proposed in 1909, with taxes on vehicles and fuel to pay for it, Chancellor Lloyd George was asked by the leader of the Opposition:

    "Is it intended to go to general revenue? If it is going to roads, we think it a fair proposition."

    Lloyd George replied:

    "My proposal is the whole of the moneys should go to the roads"

    Anyhow, enough history. How do things work out nearly a century later?

    According to the Department for Transport, the total expenditure on construction and maintenance of roads in the UK, including lighting, safety measures and the costs of depreciation, by both national and local authorities, for the financial year 2003/4 was £5,435 million.

    [Source: DfT Transport Statistics Great Britain 2005, pp 131/132]

    In the same period, Vehicle Excise Duty raised £4,937 million, Duty on Fuel raised £22,561 million, a total of £27,498 million.

    Leaving a surplus to the Treasury of £22,063 million.

    N.B. This would exclude the contribution of VAT on fuel sales (approx £4.9 billion) to the Exchequer's coffers and other sources of income to government such as parking fees/fines, the Congestion Charge, etc.

    In the same period, central government spent £2,650 million on rail capital projects, with £1,091 million on rail revenue support.

    Local government spent £648 million on public transport, with an additional £1,479 million in revenue support to public transport (N.B. this rose to £2,803 million in 2005) and a further £657 million on Concessionary fares.

    [Source: DfT Transport Statistics Great Britain 2005, page 25]

    The total spending on public transport by UK government was £6,525 million, approximately £1.2 billion more than it spent on roads.

    If we assume that Car Tax and Fuel Duty are helping to pay for the running of public transport (which is a stated aim of the government) and deduct this and the spending on roads from the income raised by Fuel Duty and Road Tax alone, a surplus of £10 billion is still available for the general public purse. £15 billion if you include the VAT paid on fuel.

    While you have a fair point that there are other unaccounted environmental costs of motor vehicles, I do not think it can be justifiably said that non-motorists are subsidising cars out of general taxation.
  2. fredfelt

    fredfelt Mostly unknown member

    The goverment needs to take every action possible to address the most pressing issue ever faced by the human race, that of Climate Change.

    Every tool possible has to be used to ensure that unnecessary consumption is reduced to the minimun.

    Choice needs to be restricted for the sake of those we leave this planet to.

    Charging more for the most poluting cars to enter the congestion charge zone may not be the most effective way of doing this. But it is a step in the right direction.

    We must remember that the extent of our personal carbon footprint is largely down to consumer choice.
  3. TonkaToy

    TonkaToy Banned Banned

    Cool. Sure thing. Do you really need that PC you are typing from? Surely a £300.00 tax on all new consumer PCs should stop all this uneeded hardware from being produced and used?

    Sorry but a lot of arguments which are dressed up as green and environmentally friendly are nothing more than attacks on capitalism by those who despise capitalism.

    Show me stuff which helps the environment on a generic basis then I'm all for it.

    Show me stuff which is nothing more than "green envy" rather than "environmental green" and I'm not interested in the slightest.
  4. sleaterkinney

    sleaterkinney Well-Known Member

    You think that computers harm the enviornment as much as car exhaust?. They don't, you tackle the biggest problems first.
  5. fredfelt

    fredfelt Mostly unknown member

    If there is to be additional tax on PC's it should be for their safe disposal. On another note due to increasing energny costs the efficiency of servers is increasingly important. People who host servers are now really taking notice of their energny consumption. But I digress.

    Of course this tax is to raise money. But if as a result of the tax drivers of the most poluting cars have more of a stigma attached and have to pay more money I don't see the problem.

    As for an attack on capatilism. No, isn't it just trying to get a correct price for consumption, paying for your externalaties and all that? Isn't this what capitalism is supposed to be all about?
  6. Roadkill

    Roadkill Well-Known Member

    It isn't 'underengineered': it's just not designed for the volume and weight of traffic it now has to take. The same problem exists with much of London (and various other British cities): the roads were largely laid out before mass car ownership.

    Chelsea council's suggestion - taking one lane out to lighten the load until the opportunity to strengthen the structure arises - is an eminently sensible one. Doubtless the drivers will whine about the traffic moving more slowly, but that's their tough shit: it's because of them the bridge is suffering anyway.
  7. TonkaToy

    TonkaToy Banned Banned


    Consumer PCs use energy needlessly. They should be taxed as such. Along with every other consumer product that needlessly burns up energy. As you might of guessed, I'm throwing up a devils advocate argument based on your logic.

    If you want to tax the most poluting cars, what about the good old fashioned fuel tax? Rather than some random tax on a class of cars simply described as "4x4" or "SUVS" ??? Hardly catches those who are driving around in 10 year old V12 Jaguars, does it?
  8. TonkaToy

    TonkaToy Banned Banned

    These silly campaigns against 4x4 owners, simply alienate such drivers. Heck I even bet there people who love them because it pisses off those "green hippies".

    Rather than alienate such drivers by calling them selfish and just about every other negative name under the sun, would it not be more productive to generically pursaude all vehicle owners to ask themselves if that journey is really neccessary?

    I would rather convince everyone to use their motors less, than be a part of a hateful campaign which serves no other purpose than to alienate and divide people.
  9. TonkaToy

    TonkaToy Banned Banned

    Oh gooody. Then perhaps you would agree that it's far more productive to persaude everyone including 4x4 owners to use their cars less rather than alienating people.
  10. T & P

    T & P |-o-| (-o-) |-o-|

    How could it be so? There is a 2 tonne limit per vehicle crossing the bridge. For decades this arrangement worked well as the immense majority of cars (bar the likes of Bentleys and Rolls Royces) are well under two tonnes. Trucks and larger vans cannot physically enter the bridge.

    But since the meteoric rise in numbers of 4x4s on the roads in the last few years, a considerable number of vehicles over two tonnes are now regularly crossing the bridge, and with the two northboound lanes often busy this meant too much weight was being supported by the bridge at peak times at any one time.

    So one lane has had to go, to account for the cheating, law-breaking 4x4 owners who insist on using Albert Bridge putting extra strain on it.

    I'd personally monitor the bridge with CCTV and give any 4x4 crossing it an instant £100 fine (I'm tempted to say £1,000 but never mind). That might make some of the twats see sense.
  11. sleaterkinney

    sleaterkinney Well-Known Member

    And that is what measures like the increase in the congestion charge will do, so you're in favour of it?.
  12. fredfelt

    fredfelt Mostly unknown member

    Its not a random tax. It is defined as a certain amount of CO2 per whatever.

    The affects of polution to peoples health are more accute in cities so why not put an extra penality on the additional costs placed on 'society' while driving said vehicle in a city.

    As for the tax not reaching existing vehciles. I think its fair to only charge this on new vehicles - in the same way vehicles registered before VED (road tax) was introduced are exempt from paying VED. If consumers know that purchases of highly poluting vehicles have additional costs associated they might think twice before making the spending decision. However if you already own that vehicle the tax did not exist when you made that purchasing decision.

    Back onto Computers, more can be done to make them more efficient and to encourage people to dispose of them better. However action or inaction on this issue should not stop taxation being used to encourage different consumer behaviour in another area.

    And yes as you say, good old fashioned fuel tax should and is also be used as a tool. However its such a shame that Labour did not have the courage to stick to the 'fuel tax escalator' scheme introduced by the tories - if we still had this policy real change would have been brought about in peoples driving habbits.
  13. Errol's son

    Errol's son Well-Known Member

    "ban all lorries vans and comerical vechiels from 9 through to 6 period"

    so builders who generally use vans are meant to work outside of 9-5? In the dark, during winter?
  14. Gixxer1000

    Gixxer1000 cant wheelie a shaftie :(

    Nor could it cope with the volume and weight of traffic 60 years ago, werent many 4x4's then were there.
    (Should I try a larger font? :rolleyes: )
  15. Roadkill

    Roadkill Well-Known Member

    What's the relevance of 60 years ago? The bridge was built in 1873, before the car was even invented!

    No wonder it can't cope with the strain of modern traffic: it's hardly alone in that. That's why they should simply cut the volume of traffic using it - SUVs or otherwise, although there's something to be said for banning the heaviest vehicles from it. It's hardly a new principle: there are weight limits on all sorts of roads for various reasons. Impose a two-ton weight limit on the bridge and knock out one line of traffic: problem solved, for the time being.
  16. Gixxer1000

    Gixxer1000 cant wheelie a shaftie :(

    I think you will find I am agreeing with you;) Only I believe bridge should have been strengthened years ago rather than the council have to resort to reducing traffic flow over one of the limited crossings we have over the Thames, and I suggest this is exactly what will happen;)
  17. T & P

    T & P |-o-| (-o-) |-o-|

    But then the question is: had 4x4 owners obeyed traffic laws and stayed away from the bridge, would the authorities have still gone ahead with the new restrictions?

    I don't think so. I don't think the bridge is getting weaker. It's the payload that's getting far heavier. And it's getting heavier because too many 4x4 owners don't have any concern for traffic laws and doing as they please.
  18. cybertect

    cybertect It's grim up north (London)

    Cars in general have been getting much heavier over the last 25 years.

    1976 Mk 1 Golf GTi - 840 Kg
    2005 Mk 5 Golf GTi - 1328 kg

    (the high-performance R32 version weighs in at 1590 Kg)

    All those modern doodads like sound insulation, side impact protection bars and air-bags add up.

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