Driving On Our Roads What Does The Future Hold

Environmental issues have never been higher on​ the agenda than today and​ with this​ has come concerted pressure on​ the motorist. Deemed as​ one of​ the most highly polluting sources of​ pollution, the question​ has now fallen on​ how to​ shift people away from their cars. Initiated by the Stern Review, a​ number of​ additional schemes have either been introduced or​ are currently being planned, leading to​ the question​ of​ what does the future hold for​ the motorist?

The Stern Review stated one overriding conclusion, that the world must act now on​ climate change or​ face devastating consequences. Unfortunately it​ also appears that this​ action​ is​ going to​ lead to​ devastating consequences for​ motorists. Various proposals in​ the Stern Review were suggested, including introducing a​ fuel-price stabilizer, meaning when fuel prices they will never be able to​ fall again, and​ per mile road charging.

Taking a​ deeper look into each proposal uncovers fundamental flaws. Artificially setting prices has never made economic sense and​ furthermore, the fuel price stabilizer would simply have the effect of​ desensitizing people from changes in​ the fuel price. Consider a​ huge rise in​ fuel prices which subsequently fall but this​ fall is​ not reflected in​ the price. People become used to​ this​ new higher price and​ when they see that it​ stays at​ this​ level for​ many months they become used to​ it, never lowering their consumption, even if​ fuel prices then begin​ to​ gradually rise.

Then there’s per mile road charging. as​ it​ stands people are charged on​ a​ per mile basis – the further one drives the more fuel they use and​ the more they pay. is​ this​ not a​ ploy to​ generate even more revenue and​ prepare for​ a​ time when cars no longer run on​ fuel? if​ everyone was to​ suddenly switch to​ electric cars the government would lose a​ vital source of​ revenue. Per mile road charging could fill in​ the shortfall, brought in​ under the umbrella of​ concern for​ the environment.

A couple of​ new road charges have been brought in. The first, to​ be introduced in​ Richmond-upon-Thames, is​ that homeowners will be charged a​ fee to​ park their vehicle outside their homes, the value of​ the charge depending on​ the type of​ car they own. Residents’ parking restrictions, initially introduced to​ help homeowners park outside their homes, are suddenly being turned against the very people they were meant to​ help.

The London​ Congestion​ charge has already risen to​ £8 a​ day from its original £5 a​ day, and​ proposals were unveiled recently to​ charge so-called “gas-guzzlers” £25 a​ day to​ drive into Central London. an​ extortionate amount by anyone’s standards.

However, something has to​ be done to​ protect the environment so what’s wrong with making a​ start and​ pricing polluting motorists and​ vehicles off the road? It’s certainly hard to​ argue against the fact that some cars do pollute large amounts of​ greenhouse gases and​ they should be discouraged. But isn’t the real fact to​ emerge from all this​ that the car driver is​ simply an​ easy target? Infrastructure is​ already in​ place whereby large additional taxes can be introduced whilst many people have little choice but to​ use their car, meaning that the revenue generated from these taxation​ schemes will be significant. Even the Stern Review undermines its argument against the motorist by producing figures showing that transport is​ responsible for​ 14% of​ all the emissions of​ greenhouse gases in​ the UK. Transport that includes car travel, lorries, buses, trains, ships and​ aircrafts. in​ addition, the argument is​ that economic growth will suffer if​ we fail to​ act now. this​ simply neglects the effect of​ imposing huge taxes on​ motorists, seriously inhibiting people’s ability to​ travel to​ work and​ help the economy, and​ this​ is​ all without even mentioning a​ certain​ rapidly growing country – China.

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