ABD Opposes Back Door Road Pricing in New Proposals
The European Commission has just released a transport White Paper "Roadmap Towards a Single European Transport Area". 1
This is essentially a political initiative, pushing towards a single European approach, including new congestion and 'climate change' taxes such as road pricing.
ABD Road Pricing Spokesman Brian Mooney responded:
"The idea that we need road pricing to counteract 'climate change' is an April Fool's joke come early, and nobody should be fooled. The EU has long been pushing for Europe-wide road pricing for all vehicles to bankroll its Galileo project that has hit massive financial problems. 2
It is also difficult to believe the Transport Commissioner when he says that 'Curbing mobility is not an option' 3 and the press release that hints that any moves towards road pricing are for national governments. 4
The small print makes it quite clear that the Commission is going to push for European road user charges for 'all vehicles'. 5
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond made it clear that he would rule out road pricing for Britain's 33 million car drivers, and even any preparation. This is a good opportunity for our government to kick these grandiose and dangerous proposals into touch. He should explore local solutions to congestion, such as boosting investment in new road-building projects, better control of roadworks and reversing the gratuitous removal of road space."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. White Paper - COM(2011)144 [pdf]
2. White Paper, p6/p29, also PR IP/11/372
The Galileo project is a planned competitor to existing GPS technology.
3. Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas .... said: "Freedom to travel is a basic right for our citizens. Curbing mobility is not an option".
Yet a summary document explaining the proposals (SEC(2011) 359, p5) shows that 'citizen mobility' will be reduced, which is to be expected with introducing charges.
4. PR MEMO/11/197 - year 2012 mentioned
5. White Paper 'transport users are likely to pay for a higher proportion of the costs than today'
(Also relevant - 'demand management' p8, 'all vehicles/passengers cars' p15, 'full and mandatory charging' p29).
Notes for Editors about the ABD