Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Can't Afford to Abandon Cars

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Can't Afford to Abandon Cars

Article excerpt

I should like to make some observations on the Government's proposals for road charging.

Firstly, on what basis have they forecast such a massive future growth in the number of vehicles? If one assumes the number of two -car families has reached its peak as we have been told many times, then as the average age of the population increases, the number of younger, two-car families should decrease.

With lower pensions, fewer couples will be able to afford two cars. In fact, many older couples do not even own one car.

We are told there are many untaxed and uninsured cars on the road and possibly many of these are unfit and would fail an MOT test.

When the owners are caught, the vehicle should be confiscated and scrapped.

Much of the present traffic problem occurs on the motorway system and to transfer a meaningful proportion of this to rail would clog up its system.

People's lifestyles have changed. Most no longer live within walking distance of their workplace or shopping facilities.

No amount of public transport would be able to cope if people gave up their cars.

Anyone who remembers the time before cars were widely used will also recall long waits for buses and excruciatingly long journeys over a relatively short distance.

How we envied those who had cars.

Lastly, how would the scheme work effectively? The `fiddlers' would presumably find some way of disconnecting the black box in the car.

A gadget to block the signal to the satellite would no doubt appear on the market even before the system is up and running. And what about all these foreign lorries and cars of foreign tourists? Will they have the box fitted?

The charges then have to be collected. There will be many defaulters as there are now with parking fines and London congestion charges.

Bear in mind the media is mainly London-focused and the gridlock referred to mainly relates to that area. …

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