Do you supports usage-based charges for driving?

27 August 2010

A traffic jam in your mind

Nearly half of UK citizens seem to agree that people should be charged to drive based on how much they use their cars according to a survey by the Department for Transport.

The findings, published a couple of days ago, found that over four in five adults thought that congestion was a serious problem for the UK and that a whopping 9 in 10 said that it was important for the government to tackle the problem.

That's hardly news though is it?

What is more interesting is that almost half of adults said that money raised from a road charging (like London's congestion charge) should be spent solely on roads and transport while just 1 in 10 maintained that they did not agree with it under any circumstances.

"The department uses opinion surveys to provide up-to-date and reliable information on public attitudes to transport issues," said a DfT spokesperson. "It has ruled out for the duration of this Parliament national road pricing on existing roads and any preparation for such schemes beyond that time.

"But for new infrastructure the government will consider all options for funding, including private sector investment and tolling."

Do you agree that drivers should be charged in correlation with how much they use their vehicles? Will this hammer people who drive for a living? Should they have special dispensation? Tell us in the comments or, piss off.

[The Reg]

TOPICS:   Motoring   Complaints   Travel


  • Al
    50% of people think usage-based charges are a good thing ... that'll probably be the 50% who drive less than the average.
  • Al
    ahh ... if only I'd listened in school I'd have realised before I posted that averages don't work like that :)
  • Jamie
    I think you meant the 50% that drive less than the median ;)
  • The B.
    Maybe they can use the money to re-nationalise the railways and bring train tickets down to a reasonable level?
  • Andy
    I have often thought that you should be charged "per lane" on the motorway, with higher costs in the right hand lane, lower cost in the middle and free in the left hand lane. I would happily pay if the middle lane hoggers would pull over and let me through !
  • Wonky H.
    We should all get those human powered cars that BW featured the other week, or a least get foreigners to pull us normals around in rickshaws everywhere.
  • Whisky
    It would help if they spent all monies collected from the road fund license & fuel duty on the roads. We would then have the best road system in the world. A bit of forward planning would help as well. Take for example the A1 above York, they are busy turning it from 2 lanes to 3. Why??? This is incredibly difficult as most bridges will need altering, houses next the road will have to be bought and demolished etc etc. This road needed to be 3 lanes 20 years ago. Far more sensible to build a new 3 lane motorway 500 yards parallel to the existing thus in effect creating a 5 lane road. This would see traffic for many years and probably wouldn't cost much more then altering what is already there. Anyway as far as usage based tax is concerned WE ALREADY ARE BEING. I put £55 of diesel in my car this morning. If I don't go anyway I will not use that diesel. If I do I will need to fill up again. The further I go the more fuel I buy.
  • Whisky
    That should say anywhere, obviously.
  • Wonky H.
    We forgive you Whisky, that's quite a post for a cat. Been tossed into any bins lately?
  • Whisky
    Im always tossing into bins.... oh.
  • MrRobin
    Surely we already pay a correlated amount dependent on how much we drive - in fuel costs. The makeup of cost of fuel is about 65% tax
  • Wonky H.
    Isn't that why Whisky just said?
  • Wonky H.
    That should say what, not why, obviously
  • Darren
    I think it would be great to charge people if they drive more. I thought It was Insurance companies that were planning this though, well that is what was on the news. I'm not biased at all either, as I only use my car maybe once a week, if that....... Bring It On! D
  • klingelton
    yeah, but he's right, so the point needed reinforcing. besides, most other countries bring in these charges and drop another. e.g. motorway tolls in place of road tax. but the uk won't do that. they will have road tax, fuel duty and a road toll, which will have a tax applied to it as well as vat because driving is a luxury, not a necessity. If they do apply this charge, i wonder how many people will not be able to work any more. I won't be able to afford to run my car and it will go.
  • klingelton
    if they want people to pay for tax and insurance, they need to drop some cost somewhere.
  • David
    Yeah, bring it on.
  • misterp
    I do supports [sic]
  • lightning101
    One day i'll meet one of these people that are surveyed. As yet I have not been asked, neither has anyone I know, or anyone they know ad infinitum. Do they use albert square as a test group ? No one fucking ever leaves the square.
  • zleet
    How about increasing the tax on fuel by a couple of percent but dropping road tax, that way people would be paying as they drive.
  • Whisky
    But thats the point zleet. They will not do that, they will just increase the fuel tax (as they have been doing for some time claiming congestion, enviroment etc )
  • Carl
    This will only benefit those that don't drive much. While everyone that currently does drive, will continue to do so, probably out of necessity, and the government get more money. Simple. It won't ease conjestion, just give the government more cash.
  • Rob
    A problem with this is that people who live in rural areas are already paying a fortune for fuel (much of which is tax)... to then charge them usage based road tax as well seems very unfair.
  • MRB
    People are being charged more if they use their vehicles more already, it's called fuel duty. Congestion charging will not stop people using their cars, they have no alternative due to the badly run and overpriced public transport.
  • lightning101
    We've had no new roads and aren't getting any up here, so no charges then ? “It has ruled out for the duration of this Parliament national road pricing on existing roads and any preparation for such schemes beyond that time. “But for new infrastructure the government will consider all options for funding, including private sector investment and tolling.”
  • Officer D.
    What's the tax on fuel if not a usage based charge on drivers?
  • Pete
    I own a classic car and travel all over the place for classic car shows. I only use this car on weekends when there are shows to try and keep its suspension in tidy condition given the completely hopeless condition of the roads local to me, I believe if we are charged on a pay as you drive basis, the roads had better be pretty special, no potholes, clear markings, little risk of flooding, etc. (basically what we are paying road tax for at the moment but never get) Will be a sad day for car enthusiasts/event organisers when/if this ever comes to power.
  • Carr M.
    Bring it on so long as 100% of additional revenue is spent on providing car alternatives i.e. - better cycling provision - cleaner, faster, more frequent bus and rail services - Pedestrian priority - Home zones - Improved road safety - Car clubs
  • K d.
    WhEhat's this road tax people keep talking about?
  • Tomsk
    No. It will always be more expensive than what we have now. It won't be spent on roads, it'll be wasted on "Giving otters nosehair clippers" and other worthwhile initiatives.
  • Marc A.
    Also like to add that by making driving more expensive than alternatives IS the answer to congestion. Once we reach this point, people will look for alternatives and hopefully public transport services will be able to supply the demand. Critical mass bike use is what we need in cities across the UK. It works everywhere else and people choose to make the shorter journeys (under 3 miles of which 50% of all UK journeys are) by bike or on foot. Check out Sustrans for more information....
  • callum
    I think as little as possible should be spent on the roads and the money should be used to improve public transport. Whether you believe in man-made climate change or not, driving is still wasteful and pollutes the air causing illness etc. so its use should be kept to the bare minimum and heavily discouraged. Plus we need to get people to exercise more. It would be good if something radical could be done (like reserving a whole lane on most roads with more than one lane for bikes etc.) but it would probably cause too much disruption - people don't like change.
  • Officer D.
    I see the tree huggers have arrived...
  • Yessum
    just make all the roads around number 10 pay per use, and see how many of the staff there still turn in. or better yet, use some of boris' bikes!
  • K d.
    @dibble - just joining the idiots already at the party. You've gotta chuckle when people fight reasoned argument with "they're just a bunch of tree huggers"
  • Marc A.
    The video the car industry with it's illusions of freedom and empowerment never wanted you to see:
  • Damian H.
    ...and the biggest problem with such surveys is that they do not poll the real questions! For example, if a question stated (truthfully): "Most of the money collected from the London Congestion Charge goes in administration and implementation and contracts. For example in the first few years, it only made a tiny 'profit' through fining people who could not get through to pay the charge over the telephone before an arbitrary cut off time. Do you support a charge/tax under these circumstances?" It is all very well focusing on the fact that people want the money to go to transport...but it never does and never will as the costs of running it are huge.
  • M4RKM
    in 4 months I drove 15000 miles. if 70% of what fuel is, is tax, and if we average 500 miles being £50 in diesel, that works out that I spent £1500 on fuel, and the government have got £882.35p they would actually have to charge nearly 6p per mile to get this amount of money. now obviously, a car that does poorer MPG means they currently pay more, which then means the government make more money out of them by the amount they fill up. If they go for a standard per mile charge, then they won't discourage gas guzzling cars. oh.. out of that 15000, my private mileage over the 4 months was about 1500 miles... the rest was work...
  • Shaun
    Wow, it's like 1937 in here.
  • Gordon B.
    Usual proposal by Londoners i.e. city dwellers, who can jump on the tube etc for those of us that live in the country (I mean fields with cattle etc), with no buses or other transport alternatives, what do you suggest? 25 miles each way to work every day, at this rate I'll be taxed to freckin breathing. Oh how I long to give up work, then HM Treasury will loose the tax I pay, and thats 2 nurses out of work, simple. Joke

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