Monday, June 06, 2005

Congestion, Conservatives and the Capital

For once it seems the government have finally got the guts to implement a policy that would be good for the country, but could be unpopular. I am referring to of course, the plans to slash fuel tax and charge motorists on the roads they are driving on. The People's Republic (along with the Adam Smith Institute it seems) has long argued for this sensible approach; fuel tax is far too blunt an instrument to beat congestion about the head with, and it is only right that people who drive cars in the cities at peak time should pay more than weekend country drivers.
What is the Conservatives response to this? Well unfortunately it seems they are going to try and paint this as another tax on the "hard-pressed motorist" and will presumably bleat on about how this will force poorer drivers of the road. Warning bells ring when the Conservatives start using the poor as their first line of defence. After all, thirty-three percent of people don't even have access to the car.

The People's Republic is guessing they aren't exactly rich.

The only problem is why the government needs to use satellite tracking to monitor these tolls. Surely a few manned booths at peak-times or some sort of swipe-card system would be a better way of doing things.

Unless it was about more than traffic congestion...

Meanwhile Idiotic TeleVision (or ITV as it's commonly known) managed to surpass it's bog-standard reporting on this issue when it claimed that fuel tax, road tolls and congestion charging have had no effect on Gridlock Britain. Excuse me, but I thought that London had benefited greatly from the congestion charge, and on the only toll road in Britain I haven't heard of there being any queues as bad as those on the M6. And some people criticise the BBC...

In other news London is apparently a really good second in the race for the Olympics. Well that's where it belongs, in second (Birmingham of course is the biggest city in Britain, as far as normal people define cities anyway). I'm sure you've guessed that the People's Republic is among the 30% who oppose the bid; London often can't compete with its national rivals on projects like the national stadium and the millennium celebrations, only winning when it's fixed the result in advance. How can "the greatest city in the world" possibly compete with a city that is truly international class?

Vive la Republic!

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