National Road Pricing Scheme a possibility again – apparently

This report in the Telegraph claims that the Government are going ahead with plans to test satellite-based tracking with a view to using it as the basis of a national road-pricing scheme.

It was also the Telegraph that broke the story last October that these plans had apparently been shelved, or “back burnered” as it was put. It’s now clear that far from being shelved the plans for tests into the viability of national road charging are now at an advanced stage, with trials set to start in January 2010.

Personally I see little problem with the concept of a national road-charging scheme, however it seems clear to me that these trials will be a multi-million pound waste of money with huge potential profits for consultancy firms but little, if any, chance of the plans actually reaching fruition. It seems entirely likely that there will be at least one change of government before any national road-charging scheme is introduced and I don’t believe that any party will have the political will to see this through.

It’s only necessary to look at what’s happening in Manchester at the moment to see that motorists and the business community will use any argument possible to promote Read More…

Posted under Fuel Prices, Protests & Strikes, Tolls, Charges & Fines

Posted by Alec at 7:49 pm, August 18, 2008

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RHA bleating over M4 toll road plans

I’m becoming more and more irritated by the insistence of the RHA that the country as a whole should help hauliers run their businesses profitably.

This article about the proposed M4 toll road demonstrates my point perfectly. It reports ‘warnings’ from the RHA that “plans for an M4 toll relief road would cripple haulage businesses delivering into Wales and seriously damage the economy”.

RHA regional director Mike Farmer is reported as suggesting that a private company builds the road and then the Government repays it back over a period of time, based on traffic counts on the new road, or “shadow tolling” as it’s known.

While the PFI shadow toll suggestion is certainly workable, it’s hardly a fair solution to the problem. The A55 extension across Anglesey is funded by just such a scheme, the 20 mile stretch of dual carriageway is expected to have cost every Welsh resident over £130 by the time the road’s been paid for in 2026. This is for a road which provides no benefit whatsoever to the vast majority of the Welsh population and is mainly used by foreign hauliers who pay nothing Read More…

Posted under Tolls, Charges & Fines

Posted by Alec at 11:39 am, August 13, 2008

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Manchester Congestion Charge, Peel Holdings and the Greater Manchester Momentum Group

The row between the Greater Manchester Momentum Group (GMMG) and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) over the Manchester Congestion Charge has caught my attention this week.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m broadly behind a congestion charge for Manchester, the mechanics of actually paying the charge are an issue for me and I can see a good case for making commercial vehicles exempt, but on the whole I’m in favour of anything that discourages commuting by car. This can only be a long-term benefit for same day couriers in the Manchester area.

According to this report in the Manchester Evening News, GMMG have come up with their own alternative proposal to the congestion charge and are suggesting that Manchester’s public transport improvements should be funded not by a congestion charge, but by a 2p in the pound increase in business rates and Read More…

Posted under Tolls, Charges & Fines

Posted by Alec at 12:43 pm, August 9, 2008

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Congestion Charges and Tolls in the UK

It may seem a counter-intuitive opinion to be held by the owner of a same day courier company, but I’m really all for the introduction of these congestion charges, toll roads, low-emission zones and other forms of road charging. I just wish they’d get their act together over the charging though and consolidate all the charging systems into one automated system operating across the UK.

The proposed Manchester Congestion Charge is the perfect example of a system which takes no account whatsoever of the sheer nuisance factor of these charges for people who travel around the country regularly.

Regular visitors to the congestion zone will have the benefit of a pre-pay ‘tag’ system linked to an account which is automatically debited as they enter and leave the zone.

If you’re not a regular visitor, say a courier based in another part of the country, you’ll apparently be able to pay via a call centre or the internet, although this may be subject to a surcharge.

The problem with this is the sheer complexity of the proposed charging system in Manchester. With the London Congestion Charge it’s a simple enough matter for a courier to work out, at the end of the day sometimes, whether they strayed into the Zone and whether they’ve got a Congestion Charge Read More…

Posted under Tolls, Charges & Fines

Posted by Alec at 9:22 am, August 1, 2008

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SPECS Average Speed Cameras – not working or just very effective?

Police in Northern Ireland have revealed that following the installation of 32 SPECS cameras on the busy A2 Belfast to Bangor road in May, only ONE motorist has been caught speeding.

SPECS speed cameras work by measuring the average speed of a vehicle over a stretch of road, avoiding the phenomenon known as ‘camera surfing’ where speeding motorists slow down for conventional speed cameras and immediately speed up again once they’re passed the camera.

The BBC reports Peter Weir, the Northern Ireland Assembly member for North Down, as saying: “It will lead to suspicions that the cameras have not been operating properly or that drivers are finding a way of evading detection. There is a key challenge to the police on this issue, and they must come forward with immediate confirmation that the cameras have been fully and properly operating.”

There is another possible reason for the low level of detection that Peter Weir seems not to have considered. Maybe the local motorists have taken notice of the 32 bright yellow cameras Read More…

Posted under Speeding, Tolls, Charges & Fines

Posted by Alec at 12:48 pm, July 21, 2008

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Major Road, Bridge and Tunnel Tolls and Charges in the UK

Dartford Crossing Tolls – Dartford Tunnel & Queen Elizabeth II Bridge (charged both ways)

Motorbikes FREE
Car £1.00
Goods Vehicles with no more than 2 axles £1.80 (£1.00 2200-0600)
Vehicles with more than 2 axles £2.90 (£1.00 2200-0600)
Vehicles towing trailers charged at twice their standard toll

Humber Bridge Tolls (charged both ways)

Motorbikes £1.20
Cars and Goods Vehicles up to 3500kg £2.70
Cars and Goods Vehicles up to 3500kg towing a trailer £4.90
Goods vehicles over 3500kg but under 7500kg £4.90

Mersey Tunnels Tolls – Queensway and Kingsway (charged both ways)

Solo Motorbikes FREE
Cars and Goods Vehicles up to 3500kg £1.40
Cars and Goods Vehicles up to 3500kg, towing a trailer £2.80
Goods vehicles over 3500kg, with 2 axles £2.80
Goods vehicles over 3500kg, with 3 axles £4.20
Goods vehicles over 3500kg, with 4 or more axles £5.60

M6 Toll (charged both ways)

Motorbikes £2.50 (£1.50 2300-0600)
Cars and Small Vans (less than 1.3m high above first axle) £4.50 (£3.50 2300-0600)
Cars and Small Vans (less than 1.3m high above first axle), towing a trailer £8.00 (£7.00 2300-0600)
All Vehicles over 1.3m high above the first axle £9.00 (£8.00 2300-0600)

Severn Bridge Tolls (charged westbound – into Wales only)

Motorbikes FREE
Cars £5.30
Goods Vehicles up to 3500kg  £10.60
Goods vehicles over 3500kg £15.90
No extra charge for trailers

Tamar Bridge Tolls (charged Eastbound only)

Motorbikes FREE
Cars and Goods Vehicles up to 3500kg, with 2 axles £1.00
Goods Vehicles over 3500kg, with 2 axles £2.50
Goods vehicles over 7500kg, with 3 axles £4.00
Goods vehicles over 7500kg, with 4 or more axles £5.50
Vehicles towing trailers charged at twice their standard toll

Tyne Tunnel Tolls (charged both ways)

Motorbikes 20p
Cars and Goods Vehicles up to 3500kg £1.20
Goods vehicles over 3500kg £1.50
No charge for trailers

London Congestion Charge

£8 per day to enter, or drive within, the Congestion Zone at any time between 0700 and 1800, Monday to Friday. Charged once per day only, no matter how many times you enter the zone. See http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/roadusers/congestioncharge/whereandwhen/

Erskine Bridge, Forth Bridge, Skye Bridge & Tay Bridge are now toll free.

There are numerous, cheaper, toll bridges and roads scattered around the country on minor roads. See http://www.theaa.com/allaboutcars/overseas/european_tolls_select.jsp for their location and the toll costs for a car.

 Compiled 17th July 2008. No responsibility taken for any errors.

Posted under Tolls, Charges & Fines

Posted by Alec at 7:02 pm, July 17, 2008

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German Speeding Fine – Translation Needed

I was under the impression that speeding fines can be enforced/collected from anywhere in the EU now. Maybe I imagined that though.

Posted under Speeding, Tolls, Charges & Fines

Posted by Alec at 11:41 am, May 9, 2008

London Congestion Charges based on CO2 emissions for Vans?

Are you asking about the LEZ, which is based on particulate emissions, or the new CO2 emission based congestion charge?

If it’s the congestion charge then I don’t think there’s any need to worry about it – as far as I can see it will only apply to cars and to double cab pick-ups. The only change for vans is that there’ll be a £2 reduction for vehicles which meet Euro 5 standards.
 

Posted under Tolls, Charges & Fines, Vans

Posted by Alec at 7:51 am, February 14, 2008