National Alliance Against Tolls - Press Release 1 December 2006 on Road Pricing

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Press Release 1 December 2006 on Road Pricing
Road pricing would be the greatest folly that Britain's politicians have ever inflicted upon the people.
Toll advocates omit three essential facts:-

The first fact is the amount of money that would be wasted in the cost of collection and enforcement.
The implementation cost, according to the figures in (Annex J of the Government's Feasibility Study of Road Pricing in the UK, published July 2004) was up to 62 billion. On top of that there are the running costs, which the Government said could be up to 5 billion a year, though based on the cost of the London Congestion Charge the cost would be many times greater. The London Congestion Charge is a crude system compared with what is proposed for road pricing, but 5 of the daily 8 charge is spent on administration and enforcement.
Why would anybody want to waste all this money on tax collectors and spy cameras?

The second fact is that drivers already pay about 30 billion in taxes on fuel, 5 billion in vehicle duty, and 15 billion in a variety of other taxes including VAT on new cars and company car tax. Less than one pound in seven goes back into spending on the roads, and much of that goes into slowing down, restricting and stopping traffic flow. If more of the existing tax was spent on better roads including multi level junctions, tunnels, bypasses and extra lanes on motorways then there would be a lot less congestion. Those who want to tax drivers and avoid road spending argue that improved roads will "become quickly clogged with cars". This argument for not meeting the demand is nonsense and is a logic which is not applied to any other service including schools, hospitals, houses, or even airports.

The third fact is that drivers do not want tolls in any form. That was clearly demonstrated in the referendum that was held in Edinburgh in February of last year - they voted against tolls by a three to one margin. The views of drivers were also clear from recent Government sponsored research (Attitudes to road pricing from page 4 of "Consumer Behaviour and Pricing Structures", research carried out by Leeds University for Department for Transport and released on 17th March 2006). That research revealed - "the emergence of a preference for any road user charges to be collected via a surcharge on fuel tax rather than through a separate distance charge" - due to the greater complexity and a disinclination to have to pay 'yet another bill'. It also concluded that road pricing would probably fail to achieve its stated aim, as charges that varied according to the road and the time of day would be too complex for most people.

We urge everyone to tell the politicians that this daft idea should be killed now. If politicians continue on their present course, then they will damage the economy, increase driver frustration and eventually kill the driving goose that lays the golden eggs for them.

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