Monday, May 22, 2006

Congestion charge

Tyneside preparing for congestion charges?

I first posted on this blog about the threat of traffic congestion charges on Tyneside in October last year. The threat now looms larger as new Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander is set to give local councils permission to set up congestion charge schemes with tax-payers' money to help them out. There is also the threat to motorists of charging per mile for motorway use. Modern technology to track registration plates will be used along with new satellite technology, in what will be seen as a further attack and additional tax on motorists.

I do not believe that this is the way to reduce the effects of motoring on the environment, it will serve mainly to move pollutants to other areas, large concentrations of traffic will congregate around park and ride schemes (such as Durham's), small towns and villages will receive the full onslaught of heavier traffic as we navigate away from motorways, and city centres such as Newcastle will find additional buses are needed to cope with the problem. It has already been suggested that some business will be lost by bannishing motorists from urban centres.

Would it not be far better to encourage (through the tax system) the use of smaller engined vehicles, the use of dual fuel vehicles, the use of bio-diesel for vehicles, the use of lpg fired engines, the utilization of car sharing schemes, the development of fuel cell vehicles, and other more imaginative schemes to involve both the motor industry and the traveller?


The Evening Chronicle

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