The Times campaign

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Joined: 8 Feb 2009, 10:09pm

Re: The Times campaign

Postby downfader » 26 Mar 2012, 2:57pm

thirdcrank wrote:I've feared all along that any form of graduated road pricing would lead to the sale of satnav programs to guide drivers onto the cheapest routes ie the quietest routes.

In Southampton we've already seen how satnavs and tolls affect driving habits. The Itchen Bridge is a toll bridge into and out of the city centre from one side of the river. I know two lorry drivers now that changed their routes to the free Northam Bridge and the smaller Cobden Bridge (the latter is shared with lots of riders from the Unis, school kids etc) after realising how much the Itchen route was costing them. Many locals take the same approach too.

Satnavs too have had an affect. Many of the drivers here discuss the traffic jams and they will take the back streets now. St James View in Shirley used to be dead quiet 20 years ago. Now it has regular motor traffic attempting to bypass the jams on the main roads. You can hear it at lunchtime in our restaurant where they'll discuss routes and how busy it is.

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Re: The Times campaign

Postby snibgo » 26 Mar 2012, 3:04pm

I hope the government has learnt from the M6 about tolls and road charging, and that road users shouldn't be penalised for doing the right thing. Of course, the government and I disagree about the detail of the "right thing": I'm often cycling on a deserted country lane with a good view of a chocked-up major road. The government may see my empty road as an underused asset; I see it as a blessing both for myself and wider society.

gilesjuk wrote:Tolls fr all road users including cyclists.

Should cyclists pay tolls? If so, how much?

Taking the damage a vehicle causes to a road to be proportional to the fourth power of the axle weight: a car weighs about 1000kg, a bike (including rider) weighs 100kg, so the ratio of axle weights is 10:1, and the ratio of damage is 10,000:1. If a car causes £100 damage for a certain mileage, the bike causes 1p for the same mileage.

But roads are a fairly small part of traffic costs. We might also include pollution, health, social cohesion and a load of other stuff. By any standards, bikes score far better than cars.

A toll charge for cyclists would cost far more to collect than it was worth. The only justification for charging cyclists is because motorists want it. That is no justification at all. It would lend credence to the view that roads are for those who pay for them. This is false. Motorists are not paying for the privilege of using roads; they are paying for the damage they cause to roads and wider society.