Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Disincentivising Car Use

Part of our problems with parents driving to school got me thinking about society as a whole.  The reason we use the car so much is it is quick convenient and safe? Yes? Well no, not really.  On the school run I always get there and back quicker on my bike and on foot there’s not that much in it really.  The road is so narrow, that often the car drivers are stuck for real long periods of time.  As for it being safer, here are the accident statistics for the area. http://map.itoworld.com/road-casualties-uk

You can look for yourself.  Over 10 years there have been over 20 car incidents but only one pedestrian.  You tell me which is safest.

Talking to @OurAltrincham this isn’t a problem just at our school.  There are persistent offenders across the area.  How do we get these people to realise that they have to park away from the school and walk a short distance.  That parking on the zigzags is totally unacceptable.

Where I work one day a week, I would be lucky if I get a parking space within a ten minute walk of the front door.  But that is how it is.  I don’t just drive right up to reception and dump my car there.  I wouldn’t dream of it.  So why is it acceptable for me to have to walk ten minutes across our carpark (or worse park completely off site and get the minibus) but it isn’t ok for parents to have to walk a few 100m to the school gate.  Surely if they are going to work, they don’t have a parking space right outside the main door?  Are they all really that important?

What I think would be useful is to stop trying to pander to the car driver altogether.  Lots of people can’t afford a car.  In countries where car ownership is very expensive, it is a real leveller as bike ownership is very high.  They become the main force for change, the little people, not the rich few who can afford a car.

Why can’t we scrap ‘Road Tax’ (actually VED but still confuses lots of dimwits) and put duty on fuel?  It would have the same effect? Effectively taxing the big emission creators & the Gas Guzzlers.  It would do away with the shouts form the thickos in white vans of “Pay some Road Tax!”. 

While we are at it, we have a huge problem with people driving without ‘tax’ or insurance.  They simply can’t afford it, so don’t bother.  What’s the worse that will happen?  They get their car taken away and points on a license they probably don’t have.  Let’s put even more on the cost of fuel to subsidise insurance.  Everyone who drives HAS to pay for fuel.  It’s not quite so easy to dodge as your insurance premiums. 

Once you have driven off without paying from your local petrol station, you won’t be able to go there again for a while….you are going to have to start paying eventually…..

What about the hauliers???  Basically, sod them.  Gone are the days of Hillary Duvet-Day where people can make tons and tons of money out of shifting stuff on the road.  Keep up, change with the times or be changed.  Think of other ways to do your business more sustainably.  You never know, you could be at the forefront of a revolution.


  1. You're talking sense, but raising the price of fuel (even if you drop other taxes) is seen to be hugely politically unsavory.

    Bear in mind that the government just postponed the fuel tax rises to gain a bit of popularity, despite their u-turn being embarrassing for them. And labour also thought it was the right thing to do.

  2. Do you think that it is only unsavoury as people see it as simply another tax? So if it were done to even things out ie take away other things you pay like 'road tax' you wouldn't be worse off, but those who were excessive users paid through the nose?