Page 1 of 1

Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 6 Jun 2005, 1:42pm
by Pedalling Pete
Plans by Transport Secretary Alastair Darling to control road use by differential pricing will adversely impact on cyclists - the very people who don't cause the problem, but offer a solution!

If the busyiest roads have the highest charges, then traffic will filter down to the roads with lower charges - those are the quieter roads that we choose to use.

How many people remember the gas tanker in Portugal that crashed into a campsite while trying to avoid the local tolls? The gas was ignited by a camper's stove, leading to a large death toll instead! What is going to stop the inappropriate and unnecessary use of the quieter roads, with serious consequences for any remaining cyclists?

Cyclists and the CTC should start shouting now, and not continue to be ignored and marginalised by the Government, planners and politicians.

Or are we content to be driven off the roads by a government that has already abandoned it's targets for increased cycle use?

Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 6 Jun 2005, 2:58pm
by gar
Pete 'n orl,
I am glad you have sorted that one,
and I cannot presume that anybody shares my
political opinions either but Alisdair Darling is the one to deal with this particular hot potato,
technology for which is apparently now available.

We would certainly have a huge problem outside my home with tuppeny ones, where the road is already vastly overused already, after the euro-directive of 1999 re heavy lorries on B roads.

Department of Transport have some extraordinary skills believe it or not and
I suspect that one of them would be for each area/district/county to keep very careful checks by means of satellite on blockages such as you describe.

highways management departments are keenly aware of such blocks already and would be all
eyes and ears for new developments.

I very much favour the new integrated satellite
technology for charging an honest rate for
what the county provides. For anybody who races through at high speed, penal rates should apply.

It has got to be done, and to raise "Whatif"
questions does not help in principle. I am politically very much in favour of people like my brother who spend more on petrol per month than I earn in six, paying the proper price for the roads he uses so liberally.

Was it not Morris or Nuffield who was a socialist on the basis that ALL men/women might have a car. I feel fairly sure that had such man/men lived today they would also have made similar egalitarian remarks about proportionate charging for road users.

It will turn out to be throughly fair for the cycling classes and the virtues of cycling wherever possible will be even more fundamentally clear to all top rate toll payers.

If you can park and cycle 3 miles shortcut and save £10 by doing so, then you are going to take cycling more seriously aren't you????

I take your point above though very exactly.


Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 11 Jun 2005, 6:48am
by gar
I am quite surprised there has been no further comment about the damage to cyclists routes that may occur as Pete suggests.
(Everybody is out on the road thinking about it )

Presumably the charging will be orbitally based ie the terrestrial orbit of London with the complex
historical cartographical method of classifying roads in a clockwise direction round London
used as a base for the deliberations.

So nearest to London would be £1/mile whereas nearest to Birmingham would start at 80p/mile,
nearest to say Cardiff 50p/mile.

Or would the charging merely be based on satellite views of congestion on particular roads,
and heavier charges made on the road going past my home if it got more congested regardless of its status as a B road.

Would it be based on per minute car numbers on such roads.
Detailed traffic censuse have been taken over the last few years but one census suggested that there are only 4,000 cars/day on the Tolpuddle bypass whereas there are in fact 400,000/week Some error of judgement perpetrated by the toll road owners "Connect"

Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 30 Jun 2005, 10:22pm
by Pilotlight
After all the cuffle (spelt right??) with ID cards and technology, I suspect that the government will not be pushing the traffic charges too quickly. City centres?? Motorway??? possibly, but I guess they will just up the tax on fuel??

However it is an interesting point that Pete picks up on and I guess that cyclist will suffer with congestion. But then don't we not have our own national cycle network to keep us safe??

Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 30 Jun 2005, 10:32pm
by pwward
I am a bit surprised by the negative tone of debate here. The congestion charge in London has incrreased cycling by about a third so enabling the London Cycling Campaign to push for better cycle facilities. Couldn't one of the effects of this, especially in urban areas, be to increase cycling? As for fears of drivers diverting to quieter roads...surely they would already be doing that to avoid all the traffic jams? Road charging is basically a way of reducing the amount of driving by making drivers pay a fair price for valuable road space.

Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 1 Jul 2005, 9:21am
by gar
The methods they use in California for road charging are really, really cool and where
was the mountain bike invented? Where!


Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 1 Jul 2005, 5:59pm
by PhilipB
There's certainly a potential problem there. The trouble is we don't yet know enough about what might be proposed.

Charge all motorists within 100 miles of London £10 a mile for driving anywhere - really good idea.

Charge all motorists in my neck of the woods 50 pence a mile for using the local A roads and the mean so and so's will divert on to the B's and C's, to the disadvantage of cyclists.

I am not against road charging, in principle it's fine: but if it is implemented with the usual lack of consideration for cyclists that you get in this country, we may lose out.

Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 3 Jul 2005, 7:31am
by gar
If it were charged along with council tax it could be done on a flat fee basis of where you live in that case, banded from the centres (London , Birmingham etc). That is flat fee cuckooland!

The way DoT proposes is with sophisticated satellite tracking technology and spies in EVERYBODY'S cab(by law) but for a different purpose (not to check driver's logged hours ) and fed back to the satellite. Then you get your bill at the end of the month, and if it is not up to date by the 15th of the month the council operatives who check on Tax discs will book you!!!



Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 3 Jul 2005, 7:36am
by gar
Sorry .... also the savvy on- road cyclists could adjust his journey depending on his opinion of the
road charging in his area and the perceived consequences for the traffic on particular roads at
given times.

This can be tricky as the "flows" of traffic themselves are effected with this technology.
You may get "flow" one day and none at all the next ONLY because of the driver's opinion of the
charging bands and his desire to avoid them.
I would hope though that non cyclists would be using the type of road on which these flows occur


Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 4 Jul 2005, 8:22am
by Pedalling Pete
Gar is correct to foresee that traffic flows will be unpredictable. The same GPS satellite technology that will be used for charging, will also be used by the drivers for deciding which route to select. Firms such as Intelligent Transport Systems UK, (whose President is Steve Norris, former Chair of our National Cycling Stategy!), are developing systems to monitor congestion, with a view to selling drivers the means to follow alternative routes. The data could easily be incorporated to allow selection of the cheapest routes to minimise road charging. Seems reasonable?

The consequence is that every driver will have the potential to use every road, regardless of local knowledge.

For the Government this makes sense, as it maximises existing road usage - and saves the cost of building new roads!

For the cyclist, the only quiet routes left will be the cycle-specific and shared-usage paths. As I suggested, the widespread adoption of Road Charging with GPS technology will lead to cyclists being driven off the roads; Unless the CTC takes a lead and demands action to protect routes used by cyclists.

Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 4 Jul 2005, 11:23am
by gar
This is a tricky subject and I certainly defer to
Pedal's recommmendation that it be Refered to CTC policy division, to keep it closely in view for public campaign at all levels.


Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 4 Jul 2005, 11:29am
by gar
Round here we have seen much more heavy traffic on the very backmost roads since county has removed ALL weight restrictions becoz they insist on using all their road assets for all traffic.

With the consequence that Pete suggests above there would also be more very heavy traffic using totally unsuitable roads with the Norris technology as per the Euro directive 1998?
to allow ALL heavy traffic on ALL roads.
Even THAT was wrong for our road system, so what now?

Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 7 Jul 2005, 2:00pm
by gar
Feasibility Study

was done in summer 2004 by the DOT.
I have not foundexact reference ti it yet but the DOT website would provide chapter and verse.

In the Transport debate on Wednesday led by the Sec of state Darling he made special mention of providing improved cycling facilities on the road
at the SAME TIME as introducing the charges.

It must be clear that it is a different concept entirely from Road fund licence.
I shall look up DOT Feasibility study in due course.

Re:Driving Cyclists off the Roads - Road Charging

Posted: 7 Jul 2005, 2:10pm
by gar
I've got these www's better so here are two hypers to the Feasibility study from mid last year

Not much mention of cycling in there but he did expressly comment on them on Wednesday