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Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 20 Jan 2011, 9:40pm
by Steady rider
At the moment there are over 40 major road schemes in progress, all with an average estimated cost of £21m per mile


any handy reference/link

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 20 Jan 2011, 9:49pm
by Edwards
This is all getting complicated for me. I was hoping for one or maybe a few documents to show the cost per mile.
Never mind.

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 20 Jan 2011, 9:56pm
by irc
snibgo wrote:The problem is that general taxpayers (income tax, council tax) pay more than they need to, in order that motorists can pay less than they need to. This creates incentives to drive kids a mile to school or a couple of miles to do the shopping, because motoring is artificially cheap. If motorists paid the full costs of motoring, there would be less motoring. We would move away from the car-centric society.


Cheap? Other than housing buying and running a car is by far the most expensive thing most people do. They do it because it offers a combination of mobility and load carrying unmatched by any other option.

Since 75% of households have access to a car there is little of the costs of driving not paid by the majority of car users. Anyone that chooses not to use a car saves the direct costs so they pay less. Seems fair as whether they use a car or not they benefit from the road system. They use services like police, fire, and ambulance which arrive by road for example.

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1770

Anyway since when has everyone had to pay taxes in exact proportion to their benefits. Anyone without children still pays for schools.

As for the car-centric society? I'm all for it. Given the choice of todays car-centric society and the society of the 1930s or earlier when cars were pretty much an upper class only thing I'll take today.

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 20 Jan 2011, 9:59pm
by Steady rider
http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=MEI_BOP

It looks to me that countries doing the pedalling have in general a stronger economy

Netherlands quite good for the size of population, Denmark, Germany.

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 20 Jan 2011, 10:06pm
by hubgearfreak
irc wrote:Anyone without children still pays for schools.


doesn't matter if you've got children or not, you still went to school and were unable to pay for it at the time

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 20 Jan 2011, 10:10pm
by hubgearfreak
irc wrote:Yes but neither is subsidising the other.


you're right, but us motorists cause air and noise pollution when we drive. the more we drive, the more we create. pollution damages society in terms of health and happiness. damage is done, and it doesn't matter of you choose to measure this damage in kittens or floorboards. it still remains a fact that a good unit of measure for the damage that the pollution does to society is £

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 20 Jan 2011, 10:19pm
by snibgo
irc wrote:Since 75% of households have access to a car there is little of the costs of driving not paid by the majority of car users. Anyone that chooses not to use a car saves the direct costs so they pay less. Seems fair as whether they use a car or not they benefit from the road system. They use services like police, fire, and ambulance which arrive by road for example.

So the 25% of households without a car (who will tend to be poorer than those with) "subsidise" the 75% of household with a car.

Services like police, fire and ambulance are paid for out of general taxation. I'm not suggesting they shouldn't be.

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 20 Jan 2011, 10:22pm
by hubgearfreak
snibgo wrote:So the 25% of households without a car (who will tend to be poorer than those with) "subsidise" the 75% of household with a car.


it's not even as simple as that. of the 75% that have access to a car, the welthier the household -generally the more cars there'll be in it, so more subsidy still

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 20 Jan 2011, 10:45pm
by snibgo
True, very true.

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 12:29am
by [XAP]Bob
Cars are artificially cheap, especially incrementally. That they are the second most expensive thing people do is irrelevant, they are cheaper than their true cost would indicate

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 4:00pm
by George Riches
snibgo wrote:We can do a back-of-the-envelope calculation:

Expenditure:
- roads £21.86b (tsgb0115.xls) (The Sun includes this, as £9.1b)
- accidents £15.8b - £30b
- congestion (urban only) £10.9
- physical inactivity (I won't include this, but the point is arguable) zero
- road traffic noise £3b - £5b
- carbon emissions (urban only) £1.2b - £3.7b (The Sun includes this, as £3.1b)
- Total: £52.76b - £71.46b

Income (http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/da ... ions/tsgb/, and confirmed by The Sun):
- VED £5.4b
- Fuel tax £24.6b
- Total: £30.0b

So motorists cost the country roughly double what they pay.

The costs of congestion and physical inactivity are paid for by motorists themselves, so shouldn't be included.
Much of the subsidy to public transport operators should be included as the main reason to subsidise public transport is that it's a cheaper way of keeping congestion in check than building new roads.

I'm irritated by the confusion between the government (or more correctly the State) and the country (or more correctly Society).

The State gets money from VED and vehicle fuel tax. It pays out money to public transport operators, NHS employees, road construction companies etc. It doesn't pay any congestion or noise compensation fees.

Society gets the benefit of being able to get between A and B comfortably at speed, but the disadvantages of RTA's, noise, physical inactivity, congestion, climate change & road costs.

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 4:35pm
by snibgo
This is the cost to business (not individuals) of congestion. It might be reasonable to include congestion an HGV causes others, but exclude the congestion suffered by that HGV. I don't know how to distinguish these.

(EDIT: no, it's worse than that. We should exclude only the congestion an HGV causes itself, which (it seems to me) is zero, be definition.)

Similarly, we might exclude the costs of physical inactivity of motorists, but include the inactivity of other people caused by traffic, while acknowledging that they could get active by other means (going to the gym or whatever).

Public transport subsidy exists, of course, but I'm not sure that it should be attributed to motor vehicle traffic. Can you explain?

So the State is the banker for Society? The real costs/benefits are to Society, while the State handles the cash? Possibly. I've conflated the two into "the country". Does that change the argument?

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 9:35pm
by hubgearfreak
George Riches wrote:I'm irritated by the confusion between the government (or more correctly the State) and the country (or more correctly Society).



please elucidate. surely the state/government has been selected by the people/society to serve the latter's needs?

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 9:57pm
by George Riches
hubgearfreak wrote:
George Riches wrote:I'm irritated by the confusion between the government (or more correctly the State) and the country (or more correctly Society).


please elucidate. surely the state/government has been selected by the people/society to serve the latter's needs?

But not all needs. I might employ a cleaner for my house. He/she wouldn't cater for all my needs.

The state has to pay for roads, but it doesn't have to pay for air polution. So when you look at the balance sheet from the state's viewpoint you include things like VED and road costs, but not things that air polution.

Now it may well be worthwhile to look at the costs & benefits to everyone, but then it has to be everyone and not some people but not others.

It may also be worthwhile to look at the costs & benefits to car owners and then have a look at non car owners.

All I'm trying to say is that adding the costs to business to the costs to flat dwellers and subtracting the benefits to car owners doesn't make sense. Adding the costs & benefits to all in those groups wouldn't work either as some people are in more than one group.

Re: Subsidising motorists

Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 10:01pm
by hubgearfreak
George Riches wrote:Adding the costs & benefits to all in those groups wouldn't work either as some people are in more than one group.


quite, that's why you attribute costs and benefits to society as a whole