25 October 2006

Curbing the Chelsea Tractors

A recent article on today's news highlighted that the borough of Richmond in west London was introducing increasing the price of permits for 4x4 cars in the borough to £300 per year and free parking permits if you have an electric car.

On the surface, it looks like a good idea - cuts greenhouse emissions, penalises those bad drivers who say that they need it to protect their children, etc. However, the fact that the parking permit for a Nissan Micra driver has risen, just goes to show the real motive for this: raising revenue.

It's a pity that governments, whether they are local or national, use people's genuine environmental concerns in this cynical matter. The fact is that if local governments were genuinely interested in reducing emissions, they would tackle their fleet of diesel-spewing, often dilapidated buses and either improve them or replace them with genuine greener alternatives.

If national governments wanted to reduce emissions, then they could better invest their energies in developing an integrated transport policy that made greater use of the rail networks (which incidentally need to be cleaned up first) and removing the reliance on road haulage, where diesel-powered vehicles burn up and down the M1 when it should be transported en-masse.

If a government is going to espouse socialism and social conscious at least follow the Scandinavian model of socialism. It may cost a fortune, but the services delivered make up for it.
Still I don't think there is a full set of balls in the government at the moment.

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