THE NEW PARTY: Road User Charging "Infantile"

From: THE NEW PARTY
Published: Mon Jun 06 2005


The New Party considers that the New Labour plan to introduce road user charging is fundamentally flawed. We believe that the move to charge every car and lorry in the country according to the type of road, area and time of use will not only add create a massive amount of bureaucracy, the system itself will be hugely expensive.

New Party director of policy Dr Jonathan Lockhart;

"Like so many of its predecessors, this scheme falls at the first hurdle because it attempts to treat the symptoms rather than the root cause. The biggest single cause of congestion is a transport infrastructure that cannot cope, because it was never designed to, and the solution is to update it."

The New Party further considers that it would also make more sense for the Government to prioritise action to address the high cost and poor availability of public transport. The present Government must also take some of the blame for the current situation due to its support for Brownfield development. This has resulted in many viable businesses being sold to build houses with the inevitable result that the new house owners then have to travel to find work.

Dr Jonathan Lockhart;

"The claim that building more roads simply creates more traffic does of course have an element of truth. However, what is actually happening is not an increase in traffic from A to B but simply drivers abandoning their rat runs which is a good result."

The New Party further concludes that we already have mileage based road charging, it's called fuel duty. It might be the highest in Europe but at least it is relatively easy to collect.

Ends:



NOTES TO EDITORS


1. road user charging is an EU initiative and is widely regarded as being a way to generate additional revenue and to provide justification for the EUís Galileo satellite navigation system.

2. lorry road user charging has already been comprehensively discredited by a study carried out by Heriot Watt university. http://www.sml.hw.ac.uk/logistics/pdf/lorryroaduser1.pdf

3. traffic surveys from 1998 through to 2000 show that traffic on major urban routes is generally constant or falling

4. much of the "increased congestion" is a result of traffic calming measures reducing carriageways and slowing flow rates.


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