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SEPTEMBER 2004 NEWS
30 September 2004
|Double pain for USA motorists|
Motorists in USA are generally regarded as lucky, as they have some of the lowest "gas" taxes of any developed country. But this means that when crude oil prices increase, the Americans notice it most. But they have been doubly hit this year, as there has been a flood of stories about new tolls and massive increases in existing tolls.
This cartoon from today's Illinois Northern Star shows some Americans hoping that the Tooth Fairy will come so they can afford to pay the tolls.
24 September 2004
North America swings both ways
The good swing is that the Premier of Ontario has "flashed the red light" to talk of more tolls on Toronto highways. Many of the Toronto city politicians want tolls to discourage people from using cars to come in to Toronto, and to produce income for spending elsewhere. Sound familiar? What the politicians want is not the same as the people:- 70% reject tolls used to fund public transport
The bad swing is the massive increase in tolls that some Americans face and the adverse effect on businesses:- Transponder fees go through the roof
16 September 2004
Scottish Council against tolls
West Lothian Council is opposed to the proposed congestion scheme for Edinburgh and now plans its own referendum. Council leader Graeme Morrice said today: "We believe it is vitally important to let our own residents have their say about city road tolls. We believe that the proposed two-cordon scheme is an unfair tax on people living outside Edinburgh. In our view it is inequitable and flawed. "
Council takes poll position on road tolls
The Good News and the Bad News
The good news is that the hurricanes have passed over Florida. The bad news is that tolls are back. Average toll suspensions were 3 days for Charley, 9 days for Frances and 6 for Ivan.
Believe it or not
A US study published today concludes that Virginia motorists will try to avoid tolls!
The team of financial experts based their predictions on driver behaviour in other parts of the USA and local observations that showed many drivers shun tolls at any opportunity.
The study looked at a dozen proposed projects and calculated the effect of tolling them. The effect of tolls meant that traffic volumes on the new roads would fall between 47% and 87%. The combined effect for all 12 schemes was that without tolls there would be 900,000 vehicles a day, but with tolls 550,000 vehicles would use other roads:- Report finds commuters would try to escape tolls
14 September 2004
Good idea Gordon?
If the governor of Massachusetts agrees to the bill, then residents of the state will be able to claim tolls (over $150) as an expense on their tax returns. Will our Chancellor copy this radical idea? Pike users may get break via tax deduction
13 September 2004
One way better than two
We don't like tolls, but where they exist it is better for motorists if they are only collected one way, so that traffic can flow freely in at least one direction. In USA some tolls are being converted to one way:- Bell tolls for two-way collection at 2 parkway barriers
10 September 2004
Florida Tolls still suspended
With Hurricane Ivan expected, Florida state officials have said that they "need to maintain the road toll free to speed traffic". Well, what do you know!
Satellite tolling "a failure in reality"
An article today in the Frankfurter Allgemeine says that the consortium contracted to implement automatic tolling for German trucks using satellites is expected to lose money.
The previous day, an article in Mercury News said that the German government was to seek compensation of 4.5 billion euros from the consortium.
8 September 2004
The boycott that we called for takes place today. In most cases, people have virtually no choice other than to use the road and pay the toll. But we hope that the boycott will have drawn attention to the issue:- Drivers urged to avoid toll roads
This press release was issued:-
3 September 2004
More Toll Barriers
Toll barriers have been intoduced on the Cleddau toll bridge in south west Wales. Whatever other effect they have, they will tend to lead to longer queues:- Abuse plea over toll collectors
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