Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 06:26:40 -0000
Subject: [GB] WM road pricing plan unacceptably intrusive
Greetings,"Plans to impose London-style congestion charging schemes in Birmingham and the West Midlands have been dropped in favour of a regional pay-as-you go road pricing project. Drivers would be charged a levy depending on the time, length and destination of their journey, if proposals being worked up by council leaders get Government backing. The system, probably based on satellite tracking of vehicles, would be flexible enough to take account of local traffic patterns and avoid a blunt one-size-fits-all approach to tacklingcongestion."
Any kind of detailed tracking system is an unacceptable invasion of civil liberties. Despite my conviction that external costs must be internalised, I will actively oppose any such intrusive scheme. Can anyone give more details about why other models such as London's congestion charge are not practical in Birmingham and the West Midlands? Thanks, Amanda
From: Simon Baddeley
To: Amanda Treaclemine
Dear Amanda. Telemetry in cars offers the prospect of obtaining compensation from people (including myself and my family) who rely on cars, for the externalised costs they’ve imposed on the Commons. Raising revenue by satellite tracking of motorised traffic increases the civil liberty of road users - whether drivers, cyclists or walkers - promising the possibility of release from the ever-present danger to liberty presented to the rest of us by drivers who speed through residential areas confiscating swathes of the city from citizens on foot or on bicycles or who drive responsibly or who would use their cars less if the roads were safer and public transport better. Walk or cycle and you can evade surveillance and the extra costs involved in driving while enjoying freedom not available on our streets for over a century. Please think again before opposing these measures on grounds of civil liberty. The intrusion on motorists of such a scheme will not prevent them using their cars, but it will reduce their intrusion on the freedom of those who prefer to get around by walking and cycling. Kind regards, Simon