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Road pricing

Road pricing petition passes 1.5 million mark

Checking Peter Roberts’ petition to scrap plans to introduce road pricing this morning I find that it has just passed the 1.5 million mark. At 8:18 this morning it stood at 1,501,634.

The petition has been propelled by extensive coverage across radio, newspapers and blogs. There are some people that try to write off 1.5 million people going through a pretty long process as a few people clicking on a website. For instance, Peter Riddell in the Times on Tuesday:

It is obviously significant that more than 1.5 million people marched against the Iraq war four years ago and almost 1.2 million have signed the petition against the planned vehicle tracking and road-pricing policy. It shows that a large number of people care and, in the case of the petition, how effective the motoring lobby is.

The numbers reflect particular interests. By definition, they cannot represent the broader public interest. These protests are populist, not democratic: only some people are being heard. Government and Parliament exist to reconcile divergent interests. When the Government rejects them, however, it appears to be ignoring the popular will; witness the alliance of The Mail on Sunday proclaiming “How many people have to sign a petition before this Government takes notice?” and Henry Porter in The Observer giving warning of “road rage like never before” if the Government snubs the petition.

Perhaps Riddell should have a look at another petition on the Number 10 e-petitions site. It read “Don’t Scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy” and has garnered 1,835 signatures. Perhaps Riddell should work out which bit of no he doesn’t understand.

Peter Roberts (copied from Telegraph)Peter Roberts’ petition to scrap plans to introduce road pricing reads as follows:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy.

Get clicking and signing if you want to avoid paying another tax and having your movements traced by the state.

4 replies on “Road pricing petition passes 1.5 million mark”

My point entirely- there are two petitions each giving the opportunity for people to vote “yes” or “no” and they are framed “identically” in that respect

When people say on national radio – as has been the case in past week -that the petition signed by 1.5 million does not mean anything , it SHOULD – as people can also indicate their agreement to a petition calling for the opposite if they really want to.

Both petitions have been up for about the same time – and at their close they should have run for same time on the pm website. The point is the petition calling for scrapping the policy has over 818 times the number of signatures than the “dont scrap” petition. This is the overwhelming evidence. I also notice that at least 1 MEP has (according to the signature details) signed up to the “dont scrap petition” – interesting , as I understand the EU is behind some of the project – eg the wasteful “Galileo” GPS project.

Trucks use tachometers, why not cars. We need to reduce emissions etc., and it is clear that road pricing is not popular. Therefore we need an ALTERNATIVE. Here’s my idea: all cars are fitted with digital tachometers priced by pre-pay smart cards. (These could govern speed etc. as well). As the relationship is between the car and the distance traveled all the issues of invasion of privacy, tracking of individuals disappears…you pay by the mile (km, whatever). At the SAME TIME remove Road Tax and Petrol Tax (none of which actually pays for the roads [it is more likely to pay for MPs and EuroMPs travel and jaunts than roads, let’s face it]). Link the whole pre-pay thing to carbon emissions and you are away. No one is going to manage to get rid of road-charging unless there is a VIABLE ALTERNATIVE.

PS In case you were wondering I am a-political. I view myself as an eco-conscious fundamental Christian which means that I view both the Conservative movement in Ealing and the Labour movement in Ealing as roughly equal.

For every Liz Brookes (kneejerk left-wing) “men are evil” there is a Nigel Sumner (self-interested right-wing) “Ealing in Bloom”; neither party has distinguished itself in Ealing for the twenty-eight years that I have lived in it since my birth! Please, just don’t let Nigel start a campaign to “save the horse-chestnuts”!!

4 years ago Tony Blair ignored 2 million people in this country who marched in London in protest against the Iraq war. He was wrong then and he is wrong now to ignore a similar number who have registered a protest against road pricing by voting on the e-petition site. You can be sure that if about 2 million are able to vote on-line there will be several times as many who do not have on-line access, but who object just as strongly. If road pricing stops people from using their cars because they can’t afford to it discriminates against the poorer driver in favour of the richer driver who can afford to pay. Is that socialism? I would call it social prejudice in favour of the better off. What the government should do, instead, is introduce fuel rationing. That would be fairer and greener. People of all social strata would be discouraged from driving.

Much more government money must go into public transport especially trams, underground and monorail in congested cities. More mainline railtrack is required with longer stations and longer trains. This should be paid by income tax and corporation tax. More should be paid by the better-off particularly those with city bonuses and companies with large profits. That is the sort of re-distribution that is expected of a Labour Government.

We at The Car Party are vehemently opposed to road pricing and congestion
charging, increasing the population of this country beyond acceptable levels
and the ever widening poverty gap between rich and poor are essential
political failures. Road pricing will see a rise in costs for no benefit,
people will move home, forcing the low paid into ghettos of high congestion
and road pricing areas whilst the rich will be able to enjoy the benefits of
increased unemployment and a lowering of customer services due to being
served by more cheap and mobile migrant workers.

Road pricing will bring about the social upheaval that The Friends Of The
Earth seek and the lower paid and working classes will pay the price for
academic meddling.

Re nationalizing the railways to escape the profit motive and allowing more
parking spaces and free public transport from a publicly owned transport
system is the way forward.

1.8 Million people have said No to road pricing it is unacceptable and The
Car Party has been formed to represent the majority motorist view.

Perhaps those who advocate such a scheme would prefer a means tested system
where only those earning say £30,000 plus should be allowed to own a car.

Should you wish to know more please call me on 01746 862293

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