Metering to charge by the mile?

  Diemmess 16:59 21 Jul 2004

The journalist’s slow nooz days are approaching and this Parliamentary Session is all but over, so it is no surprise that there is a spate of disinformation about, not least the idea of all in the UK paying central government a cost per mile instead of tax disc and petrol surcharges.

This may take the spotlight off awkward questions to ministers or public bodies, doubtless they are using the opportunity to tighten the screws on us unseen. Pardon my paranoia!

But educate me please.

For starters, I can’t see the idiots who are driving without tax or insurance, bothering to have a device fitted to their vehicle.
If the scheme will monitor every vehicle in the UK which so much as leaves home, and each is required to carry at least a transponder, then the data handling capability of the computer would probably leave a Cray at the starting blocks
Government over the years has an appalling record with quite simple software and IT contracts.

Tell me as I suspect, that this was a joke dreamt up by a low level under-employed whiz kid, and his senior spin doctor said “Go with it”

  Dorsai 18:17 21 Jul 2004

I agree.

Look at the hassle they had trying to get the new air-traffic control center going, and it only has to handle a few thousand air-craft.

I think the only real way to make car drivers pay for the distance they travel is with petrol tax. I agree it is outrageous that out of every £10 spent at the pump about £8 is tax, but at least this way it can't be avoided.

Scrap the tax-disk.

Next is scrap 3rd party car insurance. add a little bit extra onto the cost of fuel, and the insurance is bought with the fuel. If you want fully comp, then go buy it yourself, the 3rd party part of insurance comes with the fuel.

OK, so those who do more miles pay more for their insurance, but as they spend more time on the road they are more likely to have an accident, so they should pay more. Is it fare that a pensioner who does 10 miles a week to do the weekly shopping, should pay the same insurance (for the same car) as a rep who does 200 miles a day?

As for the MOT. the MOT bods are in the process of computerizing the MOT issuing process. Once this has happened there will be a central data-base showing which car's have an MOT and which don't. Link this database to filling stations. A camera at the petrol station scans the reg of the car, and if it shows as having no mot, the filling station refuses to sell you petrol for it, and an automatic system contacts the police with the relevent information.

  oresome 19:44 21 Jul 2004

I live in Leeds and there have been substantial overhead gantries for some time on approach roads to the city equipped with vehicle recognition equipment. The signs say that they are part of on-going viability studies into traffic charging systems.
Complexity doesn't come into it. The government has a bottomless purse using our money.
"Is it fare that a pensioner who does 10 miles a week to do the weekly shopping, should pay the same insurance (for the same car) as a rep who does 200 miles a day?"..........Dorsai, you previously said "OK, so those who do more miles pay more for their insurance". I seem to have lost the thread of your argument.

  spuds 19:59 21 Jul 2004

There are a number of these 'substantial gantries'located in various parts of the country. My hometown [not Leeds]being one. When they first appeared,with their monitoring devices, it was suprising who did the guinea pig run, nothing more than some of our local council members.I do not know if the tests are still under review, but all the equipment is still in situ, ready for the possible big day.

Personally I have always suggested, that a few coppers on fuel would solve a number of problems for the motorist who do minimal milage per year. Do away with the car/vehicle tax.

  Dorsai 20:38 21 Jul 2004

I meant that as they buy more petrol they (would) pay more for the insurance that they buy with it.

The person who does 10 miles a week will only do 520 miles a year.

At 20MPG (about the figure a 3.2 liter jag gets) that is about 4miles per liter.

which means they use about 130 litres a year.

At 5p extra a liter they pay an extra £6.50 a year. 10p a litre, and they pay £13 for their 3rd party insurance.

How unfair is that for a pensioner, who only uses their car one a week to go to tersco.

  oresome 20:44 21 Jul 2004

Out of town shopping centre develpments are now discouraged because they create more car journeys. I note that following the M1 extension around Leeds, large industrial parks have been developed on the periphery of the city, whilst the inner city industrial land has been redeveloped for expensive housing. The majority of people working on these industrial parks will be poorly served with buses and face longer car journeys into the bargain.

  oresome 20:59 21 Jul 2004


Now understand what you're saying. But a car needs insuring say, against fire, theft or vandalism even if you're not using it. If you don't buy any petrol presumably you've no cover. And what about bad they pay more for their petrol. Seems a good idea to replace the road tax with increased fuel duty though. The more you use the roads and pollute the atmosphere, the more you pay.

Sad fact is that to make the roads useable in years to come, some will have to be priced off them.

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