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Britain To Charge For Driving On Roads?

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Yahoo! News is reporting that Great Britain may charge its citizens to drive on the roads.

This is a hardcore attempt to stem traffic. I know all of the studies show that traffic hurts job productivity and the quality of life, but I don’t know how this proposal will ever pass. I know the automobile isn’t anywhere as essential to the average Britian than it is to the average American, but charging by the mile seems very strict. It sends a message, but I don’t see Britian doing more with its public transportation to help remedy the traffic congestion.

Toll roads work, but Britain plans to use GPS to help monitor traffic activity. Whoa. I can see much government outcry, and I can see the US government monitoring Britain’s results. I’m sure any option to help remedy the horrible traffic areas in the US would help. Better public transportation is a must. But I fear the situation in the US has as much to do with our culture than with poor city planning.

What would help tremendously is the invention of personal transporters from Star Trek. But alas, I think it’s a pipe dream.

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About Tan The Man

Tan The Man writes mostly about film and music. He has previously covered events like Noise Pop, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, South By Southwest, TBD Festival, Wizard World Comic Con and WonderCon.
  • Andrew Milner

    Here in sunny Japan traffic congestion is far worse than UK, but
    – Insurance is cheaper, my 20-year-old nephew insures a turbo Impreza for around £250 pa
    – Petrol is cheaper and diesel much cheaper. Service station fills the tank, wipes windows, empties ashtray, signals you out into traffic, etc.
    – Servicing is professional, conscientious, reliable and cheaper than UK (so DIY almost unknown)
    – Passenger car prices are about 40% lower, new and second-hand
    – Almost no speed cameras
    – Cops cut us “English gentlemen” some slack
    – No road fund licence as such
    – No road rage
    – Brit Driving License recognised
    – Lax parking regulation enforcement (although this may soon change)
    – Low car crime (at least until they started letting the Chinese in)
    The downside is:
    – Road network barely reaches third-world standards, so defensive driving essential
    – Everyone runs red lights all the time (some may see this as a plus)
    – Low speed limits
    – High highway tolls
    – Off road, long stay parking expensive
    – Expensive biennial MOT (although this includes basic insurance)
    – Congestion can be a nightmare, depending on the area
    – Cops are strict on drink/drive, seat belt wearing, etc.
    – Approved off-road parking place required to register a car
    I’m not making any of this up.

  • Nigel Pond

    British car owners already pay to use British roads in the form of the annual road fund license fee. The problem with this proposal is that it will hit high mileage users hardest (transport companies, sales reps etc) and it is also a huge intrusion into one’s privacy — who really wants the government to have the ability to track every single vehicle by GPS?