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SupremeSpod
10th June 2005, 08:41
I could halve the amount of traffic overnight!

Make public transport FREE!!!!!

The cost of Buses, Trains etc. to be paid from taxation.

It would be a lot cheaper than monitoring peoples car journeys.

Spod.

DodgyAgent
10th June 2005, 08:57
Spod,

There is already a solution to the problem, why dont they just increase fuel tax? this would also encourage people to buy fuel efficient cars as well as encourage manufacturers to build fuel efficient vehicles.

And it still keeps the proletariat off the roads :D

TonyEnglish
10th June 2005, 08:59
Spod if you look at the busses running during the day, you'll find that most are free as the only people who use them tend to be pensioners.

I had the misfortune to have to use a bus a while ago and paid £1.65 for a 3 mile journey. I was one of 4 passengers and was the only one who paid.

DodgyAgent
10th June 2005, 09:02
I
was one of 4 passengers and was the only one who paid.

Tony Did'nt that make you feel successful, that you are a cut above the rest of the poor losers of society? :D

tim123
10th June 2005, 09:08
Nice idea.

Two problems

1) If it is completely free you find that there is a large increase in "joy riding" which puts extra pressure on the network and the costs go up significantly. You have to have a non negligible charge to act as a barrier to stop this. And then once you have a ticketing system, you have to add in the cost of running that system so the costs go up even more.

2) You have to counter the Maggie Tatchers of this world who think that "PT only benefits those that use it" and that it MUST be self financing. There are very many people who see subsidised PT as "I'm paying part of the cost of YOUR journey to work" and are resentful of this because they fail to
see the big picture.

zeitghost
10th June 2005, 09:13
Didn't they have a low cost PT system in Leeds in the 80s?

Widely used by most people.

Scrapped after a court case as I recall.

TonyEnglish
10th June 2005, 09:14
I think it was Sheffield where bus journeys were 2p

DodgyAgent
10th June 2005, 09:16
The bus services are already heavily subsidised by the taxpayer, and there is also considerable competition amongst bus operators. The quid pro quo of subsidies is that the bus companies have to run unprofitable routes as part of the deal.

Lucifer Box
10th June 2005, 09:18
Birmingham too, in the early 1980s. All bus trips on Friday were 2p flat fare.

SupremeSpod
10th June 2005, 09:19
Nope, make it free!

Nationalise it!

Lucifer Box
10th June 2005, 09:24
there is also considerable competition amongst bus operators.
Albeit not in London. London's public bus network was exempted from the market reforms of the 1980s.

DodgyAgent
10th June 2005, 09:28
Nope, make it free!

Nationalise it!

So one bus company running all bus services accross the whole of the UK spod?

SupremeSpod
10th June 2005, 09:41
Nope, Government Agency!

Nationalise it!

You know it makes sense!

Buy back all the buses and depots!

Build new buses and trains in the UK!

Feck me, it's brilliant!

It's the future!

Vote for Spod!

tim123
10th June 2005, 09:41
Sorry Dodgy, there is no requirement for a Bus company to run an unprofitable route.

The bus operators are free to run whatever profitable routes that they like and the unprofitable routes (and times of the day) are franchised out to the lowest bidder.

The only way this becomes unprofitable for the bus operator is if they get their calculations wrong. If the bids are all too high for the franchisor to accept the service doesn't run, they can't force an operator to run the route at a loss.

tim

Shimano105
10th June 2005, 09:53
Tax on fuel: simple, effective, unavoidable, "fair", immediately implementable

Lucifer Box
10th June 2005, 09:54
The bus operators are free to run whatever profitable routes that they like and the unprofitable routes (and times of the day) are franchised out to the lowest bidder
Except London, where a large wedge of the nation's buses are concentrated.

You provincials with your "man in a minibus" bus services really must try and keep up. ;)

SupremeSpod
10th June 2005, 09:56
If it's a nationalised service provided for the people and paid for from taxation, it doesn't have to be profitable!

It's a service!

Free at point of use!

TonyEnglish
10th June 2005, 10:58
"Tax on fuel: simple, effective, unavoidable, "fair", immediately implementable"

But cannot be used to penalise the driver for driving on a busy stretch of road because he has to get to work for 9am.

dazza12
10th June 2005, 11:09
So one bus company running all bus services accross the whole of the UK spod?

Isn't that what already happens?

Is there a bus service that First Group aren't involved in?

threaded
10th June 2005, 11:25
TonyEnglish: I would suggest such a driver does get penalised for driving on a busy stretch of road: when stuck in a jam they burn more fuel over the journey than if the road was empty, also they have to set off earlier to get to work at the right time.

fiddleabout
10th June 2005, 11:40
> If it is completely free you find that there is a large increase in "joy riding"

On buses - you just have to be joking.

The last time I used a bus was maybe 20 years back (after some scumbag nicked my car from a car park) it was the most drawn out and uncomfortable 3 or 4 miles I've ever travelled - I certainly wished I'd not been such a bloody cheapskate and taken a cab or been even more af a cheapskate and walked. I seriously doubt that they've improved much.

UK Buses are, in the main, for those without the choice of something better.

TonyEnglish
10th June 2005, 11:44
"I would suggest such a driver does get penalised for driving on a busy stretch of road: when stuck in a jam they burn more fuel over the journey than if the road was empty, also they have to set off earlier to get to work at the right time."

But they don't get penalised to the tune of £1.34 per mile.

I agree that road charging is bollox and think it could have a worse outcome for the govt who implement it than the poll tax (no ability to pay link - yet!). At the end of the day this system has sod all to do with congestion and everything to do with taxation. They know that sales of diesel and petrol will be well on the way out in 10 to 15 years time and that they need a new model for taxing drivers. I just cannot understand why people seem to have accepted this scheme without much objection.

fiddleabout
10th June 2005, 11:50
> I just cannot understand why people seem to have accepted this scheme without much objection.

Have they then? They certainly won't if/when the bills start coming in.

TonyEnglish
10th June 2005, 11:56
But nobody in the media seems to be kicking up a stink about the prospect of £1.34 per mile charging for going to work. Darling stated that this would only affect 0.5% of the cars on our road. This is a sh1t load of cars being charged the highest rate every day.

Lucifer Box
10th June 2005, 12:01
But they don't get penalised to the tune of £1.34 per mile
Look on the bright side, if you're stuck in a traffic jam you won't be racking up many miles and, by the time you get out of it, off-peak rates will apply.

Silver lining and all that. :)

tim123
10th June 2005, 12:21
Fiddle, you are not the average spotty teenager with nothing to do on a wet afternoon.

This is the sort of person who just goes for a free bus ride because they can.

And your analysis of the type of person who might use a bus is crucial here. You correctly point out that the percentage of the population that do use a bus is small, so it doesn't need a very large percentage to increase using them to generate the need for more buses.

tim

NumptyCorner
10th June 2005, 12:33
Did anyone see question time last night? Apparently they may add these fees without scrapping fuel duty

Lucifer Box
10th June 2005, 12:34
Apparently they may add these fees without scrapping fuel duty
It's only "fair" you know.

IR35 Avoider
10th June 2005, 12:53
why dont they just increase fuel tax

Lots of people seem to be saying this - even a column in the London Evening Standard.

If a charge of £1.34 a mile is needed to get traffic flowing smoothly on the most congested roads, how much do you think fuel prices will have to increase until your car is costing you that much more per mile to run? And why should people on the other 99% of the road network also have to pay that amount per mile?

One quote I heard on the radio is that to achieve the congestion charge effect via fuel-tax would require a 15 times increase. So you think (rough guess) a £8 per litre price for fuel is a more attractive option than congestion charging?

SupremeSpod
10th June 2005, 12:58
We don't need congestion charging!

Free at use public transport!

If you provide it, it will be used!

Lucifer Box
10th June 2005, 13:22
why dont they just increase fuel tax
I'm guessing that just for once there's some long term thinking involved, mainly because it involves protecting tax revenues. In 15 years time, there's a good chance there will be more electric and/or hybrid cars around, not paying their "fair" share in fuel duty.

TonyEnglish
10th June 2005, 13:24
"Apparently they may add these fees without scrapping fuel duty"

I bet Gordon loves this one. So we already pay a huge amount of tax on petrol and diesel. Then we pay VAT on said tax. Then when the car moves we pay a tax based on which roads the car goes on and at what time.

Why doesn't NL just decide where each of us should live and work abd then give us a set amount of money to live on. That would be 'fair'

Lucifer Box
10th June 2005, 13:31
Why doesn't NL just decide where each of us should live and work abd then give us a set amount of money to live on.
Come on now,Tony, we're only a few weeks into NL's third term - give them a moment to settle back in.

wendigo100
10th June 2005, 13:33
You've convinced me Spod.

As long as it's the government that pays and not me, free is win-win.

SupremeSpod
10th June 2005, 13:38
Everybody would have to pay more tax though...

Fair's fair!!!

wendigo100
10th June 2005, 13:59
I don't want to pay more tax for it. Let the government pay!

SupremeSpod
10th June 2005, 14:01
Hmm, not quite grasped economics yet, have we Wendigo?

If the government reall wants to reduce congestion, and not just boost their coffers, then Free at point of use public transport is the way to go!

TonyEnglish
10th June 2005, 14:04
When you say free public transport are you talking just busses or do you include intercity trains?

SupremeSpod
10th June 2005, 14:11
Everything, Trains, Buses, Metro.
Flights not included!

amcdonald
10th June 2005, 14:16
Alternatively you go rip up the rail track and build motorways on them thus eliminating congestion for the near future

MisterGoof
10th June 2005, 14:18
I think the government has just got what they wanted.

Until this potential legislation was announced PEOPLE MOANED ABOUT FUEL TAX in the country.

but now the crowds are urging the government to INCREASE FUEL TAX.

:rollin :rollin :rollin

wendigo100
10th June 2005, 14:45
Hmm, not quite grasped economics yet, have we Wendigo?
I know enough to vote at elections.

DodgyAgent
10th June 2005, 15:26
Nope, Government Agency!

Nationalise it!

You know it makes sense!

Buy back all the buses and depots!

Build new buses and trains in the UK!

Feck me, it's brilliant!

It is not brilliant spod and you should know better. You are suggesting that a monopoly be created, which is one thing. Worse is that the monopoly will be created and run by the state. Now you tell me what happened to mining, car building, telecomms, health service, post office etc etc.
Such organisations soon start to run services for the benefit of themselves rather than for the benefit of the consumer.
Such power bestowed upon a single organisation removes responsibility from the deliverer of the service and removes choice from the consumer.

Need I go on? :D

DodgyAgent
10th June 2005, 15:28
And why should people on the other 99% of the road network also have to pay that amount per mile?

Cars in rural areas do more mpg than cars in heavily congested areas. The more you drive in congested areas the more fuel you use. Simple

wendigo100
10th June 2005, 15:52
Spod's idea is for all buses to be free, like schools and hospitals, so we'd all use them and save money on petrol, buying a new car, and congestion charges.

They could bring back bus conductors, and then people could relate to repeats of On The Buses, where they get off with the clippies, get lost, and other great things.

I'm going home.

expat
10th June 2005, 16:03
Cars in rural areas do more mpg than cars in heavily congested areas.Not that much more. If you drive on empty A and B roads in the country, there is no congestion there, so why then should you have to pay a punitive petrol tax, punitive no matter how good (realistically) your mpg?

DodgyAgent
10th June 2005, 16:31
Not that much more. If you drive on empty A and B roads in the country, there is no congestion there, so why then should you have to pay a punitive petrol tax, punitive no matter how good (realistically) your mpg?

Horse and carts would of course be taxed on the number of "piles" the horse dumped on the road :D
Of course someone would need to provide the technology that would measure this. Step forward Rob Aldridge of Capita to don the rubber gloves and insert the "N0 of dumps counting mechanism" up the horses Jacksie :D

Of course the horse turds would need to be linked by satellite to the nerve centre, so plenty of money to waste on favourite contractors.. Everyone is happy :D

IR35 Avoider
12th June 2005, 11:12
Cars in rural areas do more mpg than cars in heavily congested areas. The more you drive in congested areas the more fuel you use. Simple

I've no doubt that raising fuel tax to (my guess) £8 a litre to sort out the most congested roads would decongest all other roads as well (!!!) And I agree it is simpler than congestion charging. But wouldn't there also be massive damage to the economy from journeys now no longer viable on the 99% of less congested roads? I didn't have you pegged as a green who wants to ban the majority of vehicle journeys...

I did a quick calc of what you're proposal would mean for me - the fuel costs for a weeks commuting to work 30 miles across London would rise from about £33 to £330. I would give up the client I've worked at since 1992, so your proposal would certainly force me off the roads.

People here are complaining about the cost of congestion charging as currently proposed - and you are proposing something much more extreme?

I'm all the more surprised because I thought you believed in market forces - application of these would imply we should have a fuel tax set at an appropriate level to reflect the costs ("externalities") motorists impose on society per litre of fuel burnt, and a separate congestion charge to reflect the congestion cost they impose as a result of where and when drive. (Motorists are imposing two kinds of burdens on others, so two kinds of taxes are needed to regulate them.)

Surely I've misunderstood your point of view?

allfinished
12th June 2005, 16:50
Cars in rural areas do more mpg than cars in heavily congested areas. The more you drive in congested areas the more fuel you use. Simple


Too simple I'm afraid and completely misses what they're trying to achieve. They want more money from travel, they want to use a black box to calculate your speed and automatically send you speeding fines and most of all they want to know everywhere you've been.

This is another facet of the mistakeless society the socalist/liberal scum in power are creating to penalise those that aren't too hard to catch. Inadvertantly do 31 in a 30 its not dangerous but its an opportunity to charge so they will. The litter police will be worse, they are creating a society that no one will want to live in except those above the law i.e. police, politicians, criminals (is there much difference between these? I suspect just a matter of degree) etc.

It always makes me laugh on crimewatch when they show the stolen car busting through speed cameras do you think the driver will pay his fine ;-) ? How is it that cameras are better than the old bill, whats even sicker is when they show the abducter driving off presumeably with his victim in the car?

If anyone thinks cameras make roads safer they are insane!!!!

threaded
12th June 2005, 17:17
IR35 Avoider: Oh dear, so if it was an increase in fuel tax it would be too expensive, but if they invent a new tax it is not too much? Suspect you've fallen fare square into the stealth tax modus operandi...

hattra
12th June 2005, 19:59
If they get this in place, the next requirement will be for you to pre-pay your congestion charge, otherwise you get a hefty fine, then one day, they stop accepting your card ...........

IR35 Avoider
12th June 2005, 23:29
Oh dear, so if it was an increase in fuel tax it would be too expensive, but if they invent a new tax it is not too much?

Yes.

My point (not sure if you understood it) was that an increase in fuel tax would have to raise several times as much as the new congestion charge to achieve the same effect.

I do believe congestion charging is the only thing the government can do to significantly mitigate the nightmare that is travel within Britain. If you think there isn't a problem that may be where we disagree.

threaded
13th June 2005, 05:27
IR35 Avoider: But how is this new tax supposed to be better at controlling congestion than increasing fuel duty?

You are not under the delusion that the 2p a mile for rural roads will be at any time except very early on a deep winter Sunday morning somewhere in a valley only discovered by global imaging?

DodgyAgent
13th June 2005, 08:22
Is that it is too simple and does not create extra work for cronies. It does not give govt ministers and departments opportunities to build empires. It also makes it very difficult for NL to reward companies like Capita for their directors "gifts" to the labour party.

And govt will have to find another excuse for implementing big brother boxes into our cars (which it surely will)

SupremeSpod
13th June 2005, 08:52
And govt will have to find another excuse for implementing big brother boxes into our cars (which it surely will)

The "War on Driving"!!!!

BTW Dodgy, I've noticed you've got a bit of a bee in your bonnet regarding crapita.... Care to enlighten us?

DodgyAgent
13th June 2005, 10:04
I've noticed you've got a bit of a bee in your bonnet regarding crapita.... Care to enlighten us

They seem to be flavour of the month for govt contracts spod. I am afraid that there is nothing more to it.

IR35 Avoider
13th June 2005, 22:30
But how is this new tax supposed to be better at controlling congestion than increasing fuel duty?

Well, on the fraction of 1% of roads where the congestion charge is currently envisioned to be £1.34 per mile, the congestion charge will make travel several times as expensive as the highest possible fuel charge you could practically implement. (We have already reached the politically practical upper limit for fuel charges.) As I said in another post, even if you could raise fuel tax to charge this much per mile, the result would be to make motoring 10 times more expensive on all other roads as well, causing enormous damage to the economy. On the other roads the fuel tax would be many times higher than needed to control congestion.

The point of congestion charge is that the rate can change according to location (every few metres along the same stretch of road in the unlikely event you need to be that precise) and the rate at a particular point can vary with the time of day. Fuel tax can't do that.

A congestion charge should be set just high enough to lower traffic levels so that traffic maintains a reasonable speed. It can be fine-tuned and altered from day-to-day and hour to hour across the whole country. For example, I imagine it will shoot up on bank holidays on roads leading to the coast.

AtW
13th June 2005, 22:35
They should have just charged money for known top 1% roads known for fact to be congested, all other roads are free -- if it aint fecking congested then dont charge.

MisterGoof
13th June 2005, 22:44
I that makes some sense AtW, except that the problem will just migrate to the lesser roads as people get off the major roads 1 or 2 junctions early.

DimPrawn
13th June 2005, 22:53
House prices.

If congestions charging comes in, think how much more houses that are close to decent rail networks will be?

Why pay hundreds of pounds a week to drive into major towns and cities when you can jump on the train right next door to where you live?

Or will the train operators massively increase train fares? They wouldn't, would they? :\

AtW
13th June 2005, 22:56
> If congestions charging comes in, think how much more
> houses that are close to decent rail networks will be?

Trains have very limited capacity -- they use high price to cut people off from travelling. Trains won't be a solution, driving off peak might be -- aka flexible working hours.

IR35 Avoider
14th June 2005, 12:48
if it aint fecking congested then dont charge

I entirely agree. The charge should only be where (and when) there is congestion, and only just high enough to reduce congestion to target level.

Fuel tax should remain to charge cars for environmental impact of burning fuel, and it is this that should discriminate between vehicle types. (Some people are suggesting congestion charge should vary by vehicle type - this is wrong - they all take up roughly the same amount of space. Fuel tax does a much better job of targeting gas-guzzlers then some list maintained by a bureaucrat will ever do.)