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  • Transport policy suggestions
  • Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    Climate change, congested roads, obesity – we need to find new ways of moving if we’re going to keep moving.

    So here’s my stater for ten.

    Be tax neutral to the average earner (probably median).

    Tax to be raised and incentives created in different transport areas to address the low marginal cost of car journeys. At the moment the costs of a car are mainly in having it (which isn’t a problem) – we need to make them about using it (which is).

    Get rid of road tax – it only creates a them and us friction.

    Increase diesel and petrol taxes – burning those is what actually creates the CO2. If you have a 5l V8 sat in your garage that you only drive once a month it’s not really a big part of the problem.

    Driving licence to have test elements on other road users (horse-riding, walking and cycling etc)

    Cycle-mobility scheme covering pedal powered and electric assisted vehicles (2, 3 or more wheeled) with a minimum luggage capacity (possibly rack mounts and sold with a rack and panniers – details move need hammering out).  Lower luggage capacity requirement for folding bikes designed for train-bike hybrid commutes – but still a briefcase or tool bag sized requirement.

    Trains mandated to have bike space.
    Long distance buses mandated to have bike space.

    Go on – flame me you Audi-obsessed occasional mountain bikers 😉

    Or add to it.

    Premier Icon andrewh
    Free Member

    My idea for car tax reform:
    Make it a (largish) flat fee per day the vehicle is used, say £10 or £20 or whatever. Maybe vary according to emissions. Maybe scrap current VED and fuel duty if you want to. This will need a black-box tracker or something.
    The objective is to massively disincentise those people making short journeys where walking or bikes are a viable alternative, some colleagues at work drive less than a mile for example, they wouldn’t if it cost them a tenner each time, fuel duty costs them pennies just now. These tend to be journeys made in built up areas and do the most damage in terms of congestion and non-CO2 pollution, particulates and suchlike.
    However, it still keeps cars as a viable proposition for longer journeys where they are required, if fuel duty was abolished my own break-even would be around 80miles for example. Until public transport actually works we have to keep cars available to those who need them (most of the population have access to some, but most live in towns and cities, in terms of area the vast majority of the country has no public transport whatsoever)
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    Also, I get the feeling that electric cars dont really solve any problems, other than making more money for car makers by getting us to buy another new one, the environmental costs of lithium mining and the limited life expectancy of the batteries surely dont make them environmentally friendly, I remember when we were all pushed towards diesel as it was better, I feel similar coming again.
    I would therefore, if I was in charge, be pushing hydrogen much harder. If the refuelling infrastructure was in place this would be a viable alternative to fossil fuels for longer journeys (see above, we should be using cars less full stop but sometimes you do have to use one) Obviously talking green hydrogen rather than blue, although blue is cheaper just now.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    The same presumed liability the dutch have, it’s always the biggest vehicles fault, all roundabouts and busy commuter junctions camera’d to the hilt.

    2nd cars taxed to ****, 3rd, 4th even more so. Disagree re the big car in the garage, ditto motorbikes.

    Single car commuters need addressed too, my work is awful for it, me included.

    I’d double the price of fuel to pay for a far better public transport system.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Full Member

    First step wake up and realise most people in this country will not voluntarily ride or walk short distances unless the weather is fantastic, so for the other 48 weeks of the year they won’t.

    Accept that personal transport is here to stay for many but make it work for society not against.

    So concentrate on the global and local pollution / safety aspects.

    1. Yes tax polluting vehicles more heavily, both on pollution per mile and miles driven. Fuel duty does this exceptionally well for ICE vehicles.
    2. Redesign city roads so some are for traffic flow in and out of the city. Manchester put in lots of short bus lanes and loads of traffic lights on the feed roads. Results were increased congestion leading to significantly more pollution and people using residential streets as rat runs (something speed humps do not deter).
    3. Very cheap or free public transport, Manchester’s trams are really expensive although their free shuttle bus service is fantastic. Need large, secure park and ride.
    4. Put the subsidies back on electric vehicles, they are ideal for short journeys, their price makes them uneconomical at the moment.
    5. Invest in the charging network.
    6. Link public transport, it’s still the case that you’re ok city centre to city centre but try getting anywhere from the suburbs or rural areas.

    Basically invest in the infrastructure to make it easier to use sustainable transport, stop bashing travellers with taxes, it doesn’t work.

    Final point, really crack down on commercial vehicle emissions, private hire vehicles, taxis, buses, vans and lorries, there’s so many old, badly maintained vehicles out there.

    Premier Icon tuboflard
    Full Member

    Converting single car commuters to public transport or active travel would make a huge difference. As would the school run with kids who can walk, scoot or cycle doing so.

    But both require either a significant shift in national or regional policy (as above, daily charge to use or higher fuel duty) as well as massive infrastructure investment to support public transport.

    There’s quite a bit of evidence out there that even free public transport wouldn’t shift people out of their cars so you have to make the car journey massively unattractive in price and convenience and make the alternative quicker, easier and less stressful.

    But local authorities don’t like shafting car drivers as they’re also voters. There’s one local authority near me who refuse to do public transport interventions which penalise car drivers. So a shift in mentality by decision makers is needed too.

    I’ll be watching with interest as I’m a city region transport director so this challenge is basically my working life.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
    Full Member

    Single car commuters need addressed too, my work is awful for it, me included.

    This only works for those who keep rigidly fixed hours, have a convenient car share person nearby whose journey coincides with theirs, who have a back up plan for getting home when something goes wrong for the other person and who don’t need their car in the day. Leaving aside the psychological stuff around “my car space is a castle” for many it’s more tricky than it might first appear.

    Where I could tick most of those boxes I may as well get the train (pre Covid my preferred option for days I didn’t need a car).

    In practice I think car sharing is a less good solution than just driving (ahem) people who don’t need to use their cars in that way onto public transport / bikes / foot / e scooter etc.

    Premier Icon big_n_daft
    Free Member

    You are always going to have issues with the impact on those with low incomes, those who live in areas with low population density, those with young children, if your policy makes it more expensive for the carer shuttling around the oaps then it fails

    Based on the “which car to make progress” threads we have on here there is a massive need to shift attitudes to road use

    The design of quite a few of our towns needs to be completely rethought, places like Rochdale, Oldham, Bury for example are divided by road infrastructure which is difficult to negotiate except in a car

    The absolute key is decent protected infrastructure that a 12 year old can happily negotiate by themselves

    And take VAT off bikes, ebikes etc

    Tax companies for business miles

    Proper standard for bike stands in towns/villages

    Bike/ebike theft to have a special team the same as they are doing for dogs

    Presumed liability law, get a dash cam if you don’t like it

    Change the cycle to work scheme to stop giving money to American venture capitalists, small firms to be able to give bikes/ebikes to their staff as a subsidised tax break (100% tax offset)

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Road charging. It’s going to have to come in at some point because there’s going to be a £40bn black hole in tax revenue from fuel duty and VED soon as more and more vehicles become electric/hybrid.

    The technology is there but it needs strong political leadership to drive it through.

    Could also deal with a lot of it by far stricter enforcement of traffic offences. Things like inserting an electronic driver’s licence into a slot on the console to start the car or fingerprint recognition – let’s face it, your phone and laptop needs that so it’s surely pretty easy to programme a car for that. Would cut down massively on car theft, uninsured/unlicensed drivers and that in turn would cut down on traffic (current estimates being about 1 in 40 cars on the road are uninsured/untaxed).

    Also, make it the law that every new road or road repair puts in a top quality segregated cycle lane.

    Premier Icon grahamt1980
    Full Member

    We need better bike infrastructure outside of towns too. I could happily get an ebike and travel to a station that would work for my commute. But as it is back roads i don’t dare.
    So instead i would have to get 2 train changes and it would take me 1hr 15 instead of 30 mins in the car.
    And simply i don’t want to pay the massive amount of extra money to move closer to Cambridge

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Full Member

    Or recognise our CO2 emissions have nearly halved since 1990 and well on our way to our target CO2 reductions by 2030, or whenever it is. And we contribute less than 1% of global CO2 emissions and falloing, so maybe stop being so obsessed by it, crack on doing what you’re already doing to continue to reduce emissions as you are already doing…its working. If you want to go further, great, that’s upto you. But we’re not at a point where the government needs to start considering draconian measures to limit peoples choice. There are millions of reasons why people might not be able to commute by bike..as well as some just don’t want to – and its not for the government to force people to do something they don’t want to do.

    My CO2 emissions will be alot lower going forward now I wont have the daily commute in the post COVID world and its the same for millions of others like me so that will contribute to even quicker reduction in CO2 emissions going forward.

    Also over the next 5 years or so as we get closer to 2030 there will be an acceleration of people swapping out their fossil fuel burning cars to EV’s and hYbrids which will further contribute a massive impact to reductions. The car companies are not going to wait until 31st December 2029 before they launch their marketing and sales plans to sell more EV’s…they’re already on it and will be selling more and more from now until 2030 as they gradually switch over their manufacturing an production capacity to EV’s and new supply chains. This is not something that is going to be done by next Tuesday. Its a journey which we’re already progressing on. And right now we are not in any position to reduce taxes…the government needs tax pounds more than ever and has to suss out oa way to tax the hell out of EV’s to plug the gap that will be left when drops in diesel and petrol starts to bite. Whichever way we cut it the government has to eek as much tax from transportation from post fossil fuel car and transportation methods as it currently received. So bus and train tickets are going to get alot more expensive, cost of electricity will get alot more expensive and what ever other taxes the government can dream up will be introduced. There will probably be a bike tax so cycling will probably no longer be free going forward…we’ll probably have to pay more tax when we buy bikes, to lock them up and to dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way.

    Premier Icon timbog160
    Full Member

    A lot to agree with here, but the harsh reality is that it will take a very long time to do any of this. Any government which proposes increasing fuel duty, wide scale road charging and so on simply will not get elected any time soon.

    I don’t think the problem here is that we don’t know what the answers are. We KNOW exactly how to tackle climate change and congestion – the problem is getting somebody into power who will do it.

    Car owners in the UK sometimes remind me of gun owners in the US! 🙁

    Premier Icon wbo
    Free Member

    Speaking from Norway we’ve accelerated the change from ICE to electric vehicles by effectively zeroing purchase tax (new base model 3 ~£30000), and introducing charging for a lot of toll roads, and entering towns that are different for ICE and electric vehicles. And no, geography says you can’t avoid the toll roads as they’re often tunnels, mountain passes and ferries as well as towns. There’s also a large investment in bicycle only roads to get people onto electric bikes for commuting.
    All this is charged by a ‘brikke’ on your windscreen and at some point in the next five years I’d guess we’ll be charging based on metered km driven. The technology is in place to introduce it tomorrow.
    Public transport can always be better . The real drive needs to be away from ICE commuting, via other choices or home working.

    ¤¤ Every time the numbers get crunched , desite any feelings or instincts people have, electric cars come out as cheaper and solve a lot of problems, the exact opposite of hydrogen

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    Be tax neutral to the average earner (probably median).

    That also has to be adjusted depending on persons depeants as average age for one person is vastly different to average for another. Also very location variable.

    The general idea of transport reform is good but the idea so far does what many of these well intentioned ideas do, they miss out that groups that do not count as average but are a large minority. They also start telling people how things should be without regard for how things are.

    My personal analysis is that the problem journey iare short single occupancy journeys in urban areas. Thus is caused by the “when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail”. I think the harder nut is multiple short journeys daisy chained together as the total journey may be considerable. Another example of an alkward journey is typical school run combined with a commute where car starts off with several children then journey continues alone. Or a journey from a small town or a village to a larger town / city, especially if the destination is not central.

    There are so many trips where getting in the car is really the only viable solution and public transport will never work for the entire journey. To this end multi modal transport needs to be easier. It need to be easier to get out off the car mid journey and swap to public transport or bike or similar. Many places have park and ride for example but the park and ride is only good for going to town centre and the price is such that it only pays for one person parking all day. A quick trip I to town is cheaper and easier to just drive. Similarly riding a bike. The out of drown carparks are for store customers only, etc no good bike lane near by.

    The car isn’t bad it being force to use a car for all of all journeys rather than the part that it make sense for.

    People can’t all live next to where they work for so many reasons from family to partner job in different area to wanting to change jobs for many reasons. Stopping people moving jobs harms the worker as it takes away one of the few powers we have. Even the just move house idea is fantasy unless you consider all houses to be a uniform box in uniform areas that you can swap.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Free Member

    * Penalty charges for short journeys, particularly ones that go to and from a school or a McDonald’s drive-thru. Black box required.

    * Speed cameras on motorways that quadruple the penalty and points if a car is detected speeding between gantries but doing 68mph as they pass the camera. Ten-fold if brake lights are detected.

    * 20mph limits in all residential areas.

    * Automatic ban for phone use.

    * All commercial vehicles must have the company name written on the side and back.

    * All learner drivers to ride a bike 15 miles on an A-road at rush hour before taking their test.

    * Developers made to put in proper cycling infrastructure when building new estates. Around Harrogate all they’ve done is paint a bike symbol on the pavement near roundabouts followed by “cyclists dismount” signs.

    * Secure and low-cost / free bike storage at rail stations.

    * Actual traffic police.

    Premier Icon revs1972
    Free Member

    If they want me to use trains more, then make them affordable.
    I may / may not have to go to the outskirts of Liverpool next week.
    If I do, it would cost me around £80 in fuel to drive there.
    The train………. £300+

    Then I would have to get from the station to the place im going…

    4 1/2 hours in the van, vs 5 1/2 on the train + taxi / bus etc

    No brainer to use the van.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Full Member

    Create a commute tax based on income, 1% for employees and 1% for employers for any commute over 10 miles.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Dedicated bus roads that cars can’t go on, or failing that tram/light rail. Build more if necessary. And significantly increase the PT network. In Cardiff, all busses go in and out of the city centre by circuitous routes. This means that it would take about two hours for my youngest to get to school – it would literally be quicker to walk as it’s only about 5 miles by the shortest route. But that route is a rat-run lane that you can’t safely walk on. The dedicated bus roads could have bike lanes alongside them too. The reason I don’t ride the 5 miles to drop her off is because it’s just too shitty of a journey.

    Government should make changes to the network and do it like they mean it. Like, buy houses and knock them down if necessary like they did to build railways.

    In fairness, the WG have a great plan for doing essentially what I want – more main line stations, more stations on existing non-passenger lines and a sensible joined up bus network. I can’t wait. The new Cardiff Parkway station will be 2 miles from my house and slash about 40 mins off a trip to London.

    Premier Icon airvent
    Free Member

    The issue is you could give people bicycles for free, even pay them a small amount to ride them, but if you love where there’s hill or the 60% of the time the weather’s crap, or the majority of people who live more than a few miles from the office you just aren’t going to use it much.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Free Member

    How about making it compulsory for companies over a certain size to offer a cycle to work scheme?

    The company I would for claim to have one but whenever you ask, they say there isn’t the interest despite the number of employees being in 4 figures.

    I think it’s because they make too much money from leading cars to us.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Full Member

    I’ve studied and worked in transport policy for 23 years. It’s a fairly broad and complex area and tbh some of the rubbish that gets peddled (pun intended) in these kind of threads is a little hard to read. Everyone thinks they are expert because they use transport. No offense meant… but yeah anyway.. 😀

    There are real experts, who knew how to fix it then 22 years ago, and they know how to fix it now. All it needs is political backing and funding. Stop voting in the same people who dont have the will to make the changes they all know are needed, and vote for people who will dare to make the radical changes required.

    Edit actually @tuboflard says some good stuff 👍

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    Howsyourdad1 – fair enough, I’m certainly no expert, though I probably am one of the experts in a field shortly to become very closely linked to transport.
    But it certainly appears to me that with the present practicality of transport, you need a car for some journeys and the economics mean once you’ve got a car the marginal cost of a car journey is far lower than public transport.
    The practicality looks difficult to change quickly – the economics of the marginal cost per journey possibly has more promise.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Full Member

    Sorry not meant to be critical if anyine in particular just a reality check. Endless studies and cities around the world have shown that cost, by in large has nothing to do with your journey choice. It is time and convenience.

    Make the desired journey by one mode (for whatever reason or benefit it may give, be it safety, the environment, congestion) more convenient and quicker than the other modes, and people will change. Geography, weather, tax breaks, daily charges can play a role of course,. And can nudge people towards the desired outcome, but for 99% of journeys transport is about getting from one place to another as quickly and conveniently as possible, whatever the cost to the individual or planet. That is what steers most people’s decision making about what mode of transport they use.

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    So make cars inconvenient for short / everyday journeys? Maybe?

    Genuinely interested as I will be involved in defining the future infrastructure to support transport – not the policy itself.

    Premier Icon oldmanmtb2
    Free Member

    So i live in the sticks 12 miles to the nearest town, no buses…

    Said somewhere else, keep businesses on Teams, Zoom provide tax breaks for WFH.

    The above is cheap and works.

    Premier Icon willard
    Full Member

    But that involves you, as the person, having a job that can be done remotely, which not everyone has. It also relies on your manager and company wanting to allow you to work from home (some managers really want bums on seats). There are advantages to this, less office space required, smaller overheads, etc, but will the company have tax liability for your home office which may disincentives them?

    Further up the thread I have seen some really good points… moving closer to work being too expensive to do (Cambridge is ridiculous) and better public transport, but even with a super-efficient public transport system, some people will still choose to drive, even short distances. Changing the way people use roads on a daily basis means changing the way people think about how they use cars. It’s similar to angry driving against cyclists; you need to change people to stop drivers trying to kill us. Make it socially unacceptable, as well as make it easy and safe.

    The weather will still mess your plans up though.

    Premier Icon big_n_daft
    Free Member

    There are real experts, who knew how to fix it then 22 years ago, and they know how to fix it now. All it needs is political backing and funding. Stop voting in the same people who dont have the will to make the changes they all know are needed, and vote for people who will dare to make the radical changes required.

    To pop your bubble a little, “experts” designed the town centre nightmares we have with dual carriageway cutting communities in half

    “Experts” design and sign off on the worst cycling infrastructure we see out there

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Full Member

    @big_n_daft these experts acted within the confines of their national or local government’s policy. Of course mistakes have been made , the big one when I started was trying to reverse out of town shopping centres.

    Regarding cycle infrastructure, I have worked with people who are civil engineers, transport engineers, tranport planners, who are not experts at all in that area because they were never taught it at university due to goverment policy, where that knowledge was deemed uneccesary. You focus on roads, bridges , traffic modellibg and signal programs. You may get a module that you can choose where you study cycle planning for a term and get a nice little trip to amsterdam but thats it.

    However, a great number do know what they are doing , because they have seen what other countries have done, what all the studies and evidence shows.  They know about the Thomson paradox, they know about green waves and all the other stuff (not all, there will always exceptions)  but are simply not allowed by the local political framework to build what is required. So you get infrastructure that is built to tick boxes and apply for more money from the central government that also wants to tick boxes. It is all political.


    @igm
    yes basically.

    Premier Icon timbog160
    Full Member

    Interesting that we are getting input from the Nordics. I work in transport but not policy and we’ve been doing a fair bit out there recently. The attitude of authorities and the public compared to the UK is incredibly different and so much more enlightened. I can’t see UK policy getting anywhere near that for years to come, but this government certainly know how to bull*hit on this stuff (as have previous ones to be fair).

    Premier Icon tuboflard
    Full Member

    A lot of good stuff said above. The real difference will be a combination of devolved long term capital funding from central government to local authorities, which isn’t competitive (as this drives the wrong mentality with those that bid for the cash). Edit. And that funding to have a component of long term revenue support too.

    Combine that with the above mentioned political will and recognition for change by the decision makers, along with progressive policy makers (particularly for active travel) and you might just start to see some real change.

    Until then it’ll be pockets of small scale good interventions too far apart to make any difference and schemes which are just a means of spending the money, because, you know, it’s all got to be spent by 2024 so pick something quick and easy not necessarily the right thing to do.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    But that involves you, as the person, having a job that can be done remotely, which not everyone has.

    So what? A lot of people do. Why this ‘not everyone’ thing all the time? It’s not like we can only have one solution is it?

    I don’t understand these comments.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    You can’t just slap huge taxes on the things people currently need. That would cause massive hardship. Viable alternatives need to be in place BEFORE that happens, and in many places they just aren’t.

    One thing that could make a difference is removing the ability to shop around the entire LEA for schools. Why can’t you make it so kids can only go to the local school – except in exceptional circumstances.

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    Why can’t you make it so kids can only go to the local school – except in exceptional circumstances.

    Sadly I know the answer to that one. Middle class ghettos pricing folk out of housing. And having moved 3 minutes walk from our desired primary and within the catchment for an excellent secondary, I speak from experience as both a victim of the house price and perpetrator of the cycle.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Full Member

    desired primary and within the catchment for an excellent secondary

    Yeah this is something includes but also goes beyond transport policy.

    As a norwegian once asked me when I explained about the school system in the uk “why don’t they make all the schools desirable and excellent”

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Or recognise our CO2 emissions have nearly halved since 1990 and well on our way to our target CO2 reductions by 2030, or whenever it is. And we contribute less than 1% of global CO2 emissions and falloing, so maybe stop being so obsessed by it, ………………………

    My CO2 emissions will be alot lower going forward now I wont have the daily commute in the post COVID world and its the same for millions of others like me so that will contribute to even quicker reduction in CO2 emissions going forward.

    I think that misses the mark on three points.

    One that 1% barely makes us average, and isn’t the world’s average still something like 3x too high? This is admittedly the weaker of the 3 points as I suspect CO2 emissions will continue to fall as you say. The problem is we also “import” a lot of embedded CO2 emissions. It’s not really fair to beat China or India for emitting CO2 in producing the stuff we then buy. And as the rest of the world develops that rebalances at some point we’re going to end up having to manufacture a proportion of our goods again at which point those emissions are onshored again. Basically we need to make hay whilst the sun shines and it’s easy!

    Secondly, it makes no attempt to address the obesity problem. Working and living in the same place has not seemingly been good for the population’s waistlines. The same argument applies to electric cars.

    Thirdly, I really don’t think WFH will be the new normal for everyone. Some people seem to have enjoyed it, others seem to be on the verge of a mental breakdown as they’re just now just living at work.

    Whether it’s permanent or temporary, either way it’s the best time to implement changes whilst they affect the least number of people. If you made fuel duty upto £3/litre over lockdown then no one would have noticed, until it came to deciding what to do about re-opening a workplace.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    Ungh, why is it that these things are always focussed on tax efficiency and financial incentives? when the reality is you’re not actually, for the most part, trying to influence the behaviour of accountants…

    Normal People don’t give a shit about the environment or “road tax” (VED) it’s a trifling sum that can be paid via DD monthly, they don’t even care about the cost of a vehicle, again the finance industry finds ways to breaks it down into manageable monthly chunks. Nope the average meathead just wants to jump in his German saloon and hoon about without considering consequences, so any “solutions” need to create some consequences…

    In the last 20 odd years the one person I’m aware of proposing a practical solution to the environmental, health and social impacts of motoring has been… Jeremy Clarkson, by accident of course.

    I remember years ago when “per mile” road tax was being discussed in the meeja, he (naturally) rubbished the idea on Top Gear and simply suggested cranking up fuel duty.
    And he was absolutely correct. If you wanted to influence the behaviour of (ICE) vehicle owners you’d abolish all the other motor vehicle related taxes and just multiply the price of fuel by 10.

    Driving is one of those activities where people can be ‘protected’ from most of the ongoing costs by credit and/or deferred payments. But fuel is a consistent requirement with driving, and it’s rate of consumption (and hence derived pollution) is directly linked to behaviour: Drive lots of miles, very fast you’re going to use more refined dino-juice, drive less and more slowly you’re going to use less…

    If a full tank in a Mondeo cost £500 (close to the national average weekly wage) the roads would soon calm down and people would start walking/cycling/using public transport more…

    In other words apply the Chris Rock; gun control solution to motor vehicles:

    Couple that with sustained campaigns to promote the use of less environmentally impactful transport options, and there’s not much more you can do.

    All the other crap is over complex window-dressing and tax avoidance wheezes for the middle-classes…

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    The design of quite a few of our towns needs to be completely rethought, places like Rochdale, Oldham, Bury for example are divided by road infrastructure which is difficult to negotiate except in a car

    This I always think is interesting having stayed all over Liverpool, Manchester and South Lancashire for work. There’s a lot on the news about the area being left behind, with no investment in trains etc.

    I think the investment was there, it just came at the peak of car’s being seen as the future. The motorway network around there is absolutely amazing! If pollution (and parking and congestion on minor roads) wasn’t an issue then the North West didn’t need Crossrail, or DLR or whatever else London got that they didn’t. Commuting by car around Greater Manchester is actually pleasant compared to London!

    It’s just unfortunate that the NW went through that stage of development at a different point in History. London’s population in 1860 is roughly the same as Manchester’s population in 1960, roughly the dates the London Underground and the M62 were built.

    All the other crap is over complex window-dressing and tax avoidance wheezes for the middle-classes…

    Unfortunately, that suggestion is in itself a tax avoidance wheezes for the middle-classes who can afford a Tesla/i3/Golf-E/Leaf/e-nero etc.

    I can’t afford a Tesla, so all that would happen is my job would become un-viable.

    I’d still support it though. I’ve been **** over enough times by the government and the economy that changing jobs again is just something I’m resigned to.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    Unfortunately, that suggestion is in itself a tax avoidance wheezes for the middle-classes who can afford a Tesla/i3/Golf-E/Leaf/e-nero etc.

    Car ownership and use is already a “financial flex” and yes massive fuel tax increases would make private car use another wealth deivide (at least in the short term)… But then isn’t that kind of what we need? You know fewer cars on the roads?

    Cars make us poorer, fatter and ruin our environment, this isn’t a new realisation.
    So make cars enough of a financial embuggerance to run, and people will start to seek the alternatives…

    All the discussion of ways to woo drivers from their Audis onto a beautifully segregated cycle lane, busses or trains are largely academic while the convenience, social status messaging and affordability of that Audi aren’t really prompting them to look for an alternative…

    The only things government can do is make it really expensive to drive, and push out messages that highlight the (already existing) alternatives. Subsequent demand should drive transport infrastructure improvements, not premptive construction. If you build it they will not come, they’re still happily sat in their Audis…

    As for Leccy motors? Where are the current incentives for the manufacturers to make them more affordable? The government already gives tax incentives for their purchase despite being unaffordable.

    The demand still isn’t quite there while the ICE market is still basically supported by governments all over the world.
    But make it a bastard to fuel an ICE car, and have people flocking to use busses, trains and bikes and I’m sure the industry will re-evaluate the value offering of leccy cars…

    Personally I’d be fine with private vehicle ownership becoming less common, I recognise I’m still in a minority on that point however.

    Premier Icon irc
    Free Member

    The problem is that compared to a car public transport is shite. I got my bus pass this year. So buses are now free. I have used a bus twice – while dropping off and picking up my car for it’s service and MOT.

    Random example, we went to Helensburgh yesterday. Google says going there just now is 38m by car and 1hr47 by public transport. Assuming that the buses are on time which they weren’t on the random sample of 2 journeys this year. Not to mention the dis-incentive to use shared transport during a pandemic.

    I work shifts and for some of my start/finish times public tranport is not available.

    I would support abolishing road tax and raising the same amount on fuel though. Makes sense. When so much a a vehicle’s costs are fixed they will get used more to some extent.

    Taxing the driver more than they are already taxed? A hard sell in a democracy where most people are car users.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    Taxing the driver more than they are already taxed? A hard sell in a democracy where most people are car users.

    Who said it would be popular or a vote winner?

    I’m afraid the imaginary “war on drivers” probably needs to become a real thing…

    Successive governments have deferred fuel duty increases for years, all because they’re so scared of angry “drivers” (people who own cars) taking away their precious votes.

    I’m sorry to say your car is a big part of why the busses are shite, you’ve kind of illustrated the point; Even when a bus is free you’d rather pay for fuel, tyres and depreciation than spend an extra hour on a bus, train, or (gulp) cycle. All of which suggests that running a car is still too cheap. And Local authorities aren’t going to waste (scarce) funding improving a service that you won’t use anyway…

    I’m afraid we need to be collectively pushed out of our cars by sheer unaffordability, rather than have government cave in because we like being lazy and they want our votes…

    I’m sure I seem like a lunatic, but once a couple of counties disappear beneath the waves it will all start to click…

    Premier Icon andrewh
    Free Member

    A lot of this ‘use public transport and tax fuel more’ is very urban-centric, lots of people simply have no public transport anywhere near them.
    And what would happen if you increased fuel duty so a tank cost £500? All the millionaires would be swanning around in their Rolls Royces and Lamborghinis and us oiks who can’t afford that would be priced off the road. Same with ‘congestion charging’ and road pricing, it’s a great way of getting the poor off the roads so the rich can get about more quickly.
    .
    Howabout a carbon-rationing system? Everyone gets given an (equal) annual carbon allowance. When you buy something it costs some money and some carbon tokens. A tank of fuel costs £80 and, say, 80 carbons. A steak costs £10 and 15 carbons, some local veg costs £15 but only 1 carbon. Want to fly more? That’ll cost you carbons, but if you don’t drive perhaps you could take another flight.
    .
    This would A) set a national (global?) carbon limit of average allowance times the population, this allowance could be reduced over time B) incentivise companies to reduce their carbon footprint rather than just their financial costs (my product costs 4 carbons but my competitor uses recycled materials and theirs only costs 2 carbons) C) reduce the impact of offshoring carbon output, food miles would count heavily towards the carbon cost for instance and most importantly D) be fair, everyone has a pollution limit regardless of wealth and can choose how to spend it, run a car for a year or on flight to Australia but not both for example, or if you want a big V8 you’re going to have get solar panels and turn vegan
    .
    I do foresee practical difficulties, especially if it is global, in actually implementing it and enforcing it but lets aim high

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