Fifteen UK councils implicated in EU Backed Road Pricing Skulduggery
The Association of British Drivers (ABD) has discovered that fifteen UK councils are implicated with an EU funded project which advocates underhand and undemocratic means to railroad through urban road pricing schemes in the face of massive public opposition.
The CURACAO 1
project states that its aim is "to create the conditions for reaching the tipping point for the widespread adoption of road pricing in European Urban Cities." 2
CURACAO names Bristol City Council as one of their key partners, with Notts, Derbys, Leics, and their 'Three Cities'; Tyne and Wear, Durham, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Plymouth, Shropshire, Belfast and London (Transport for London) as all involved.
CURACAO advises councils to use various tricks to push through road pricing schemes, including:
- Promising low charges then rapidly increasing them once the scheme is in place.
- False "trial periods" to make people think the scheme will be re-evaluated when there is no such intention.
- Avoiding referenda (like the one in Edinburgh) at all costs.
- Using a psychological trick called "Dissonance Theory" to make people believe that road pricing is inevitable and that "resistance is futile". This also induces effects like less anger, less resistance, weaker intentions to protect their freedoms. In other words, their minds should be manipulated.
CURACAO also labels opposition to road pricing as 'irrational' and warns of civil disobedience over the loss of 'personal mobility'.
Keith Peat, the ABD's East Midlands Co-ordinator against the Congestion Charge, says:
“If council officials are involved in a covert mind-bending exercise to manipulate public and politicians alike into accepting congestion charging, then it is an extremely worrying development. ”
The ABD is against road pricing in all its forms because it:
- is a regressive tax which is unfair on low earners. This is now acknowledged by CURACAO officials too.
- cannot work at reducing congestion without punitive charges which will harm the economy.
- will incur huge collection costs which will have to be paid on top of existing motoring taxes.
involves keeping detailed records of people's movements.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory added:
“Perhaps the CURACAO advice should be entitled 'How to Defeat Democracy'.”