Thursday, February 22, 2007

Transport Minister in Retreat on Road Pricing

Stephen Ladyman, who is the Minister for Transport, is in a bit of bother. This is what he said on December 13 2006 in a Westminster Hall debate in the House of Commons...
“There will be national road pricing. We have said that that will happen
around the middle of the next decade, although I shall not have a sweepstake on
exactly which year it will be. It might be a little later than that;
circumstances and the Government of the day will determine when it is. In no
discussion with any transport expert, academic or other person who has studied
traffic issues around the country have I heard any dispute that road pricing is
coming to the roads near us at some time in the future”. Hansard, 13 Dec 2006, Column 286WH.

However, today his tune seems to have changed in his webchat today. Could the road pricing petition have had some effect after all?
“This is a debate, no decisions have been made yet and there is time for
everyone to have their say”. Webchat, 22 February 2007


jailhouselawyer said...

I still find myself laughing at the ladyboy gaff on 18DS.

Anonymous said...

The only effect that the petition may have had is to make the bastards sneakier.

They're determined to implement pricing, especially as it's tied into the Euro Galileo satellite system, into which this bunch of profligate creeps have already sunk many millions of our pounds. It (the satellite) looks as if it's another Dome (bloody expensive and no use to man nor beast) but to save face and avoid embarrassment they need a use for it.

Oh, and eventually there'll be a 'common policy' on road pricing. The poor bloodly Brits are just first in line for the bullet.

Anonymous said...

This is just about Labour raising taxes.Nobody trusts them any more..

Anonymous said...

I think the name is Stephen LadyBOY. That's what they call him in Doughty Street.

Anonymous said...

I grew out of laughing at people's names when I was about ten, myself...

Bt has got it wrong on Galileo - there's an urban myth being propagated by Christopher Booker on the Telegraph than some EU draft directive requires all Member States to charge for every road and use Galileo to do so. The relevant proposal actually does nothing of the sort, and the UK Govt is very lukewarm on the whole Galileo concept anyway - it would much rather we all carry on using the American military's GPS system for positioning applications, for pretty obvious reasons. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.

Personally, I thought Ladyman was rather good on Newsnight on Monday - between the greenie woman and Jon 'Neanderthal' Gaunt he looked like the reasonable and moderate one.

Anonymous said...

This shows that for all Blair's bravado, behind the scenes the petition may have made an impact.

Anonymous said...

Of course we are getting road pricing. Its a European initiative tied in with the Galileo satellite.

Thats why they all know its coming and thats why they are trying to deny it.

Its the usual EU crap. Don't tell the truth until we can do nothing about it.

Cameron knows. What's his take on it?

unothordox behaviour said...

Road charging will kick off with 'tag and beacon' on busy arterial and inner city routes. I have just got back from driving around the Alps north of Turin and the little plastic box (holding the charge card) stuck to the windscreen bleeped away merrily as we drove down the motorways and through the toll gates.

BTW, the EETS EU regs requires that we all have the same electronic charging system across Europe. How the government has got itself into this road charging twist with local authorities is beyond me. Tag charging is old, established, technology.

Sat-charging is a least a decade away, probably more, but the 'Tag and Beacon' deal is the real thing and will be rolled out in London - and then on major roads running through greater London from Spring 2009.

Incidently, an engineer in the latest issue of Professional Engineer magazine says that the Tag charging system in Singapore costs just £2m per year to run. The London C-Charge costs £120m, according to the latest re-stated accounts. Another £100m for Ken?

Believe me, this is a done deal. And Ken might well have already signed the contract for it....

Roger Thornhill said...

If we have the same electronic charging system across Europe, is anyone ensuring we have a multiplicity of technology suppliers?

A state monopoly is bad, but what is worse is a private monopoly. However, even that is outdone by a State-controlled, State-sanctioned but privately run monopoly. PFI, Capita CC shows us how this works out.

Road pricing currently has all the hallmarks of a racket, with the State "outsourcing" part of their mobster operation.

Tony said...

His tune may have changed but his position has not. Watching him debate on TV the other night his body language was screaming out that he was lying when he said no decision had been made.

I really cannot understand politicians still convincing themselves, in this day and age, that they can contradict what they have said and get away without it being noticed.

Maybe the next viral attack ad should be about governments that make contradictory arguments. For example, Blair saying a day or so before war started that Saddam could still retain power if he gave up WMD, then this week telling us how the war was to remove a brutal dictator.

We need to promote honest politicians and stamp on the dishonest ones that make the populace disengage from the political process.

Anonymous said...
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CityUnslicker said...

I have posted myself here about the difficulties we face in Transport. Labour have no answer and just want to raise more taxes. Their budgets have no more money for investment and this is an attempt to raise funds by charging for what we already do.