I have actually got a gripe this week to talk about. I have to confess I am a bit of a petrol head (that’s car nut for the green veggie eating tree hugging bearded amongst us) and I have been driving since 1982 and enjoying it ever since. Ok the roads have slowly got full and there are times when I wish the front of whichever transport I’m in had a battering ram or better still a battery of fully armed Exercet missiles. But on the whole I like the open road. It’s a myth that you can’t enjoy a fast drive because of speed cameras and Volvo’s moving slower than the Tory party to reform.
I’m not even going to talk about Speed cameras, although I could probably write a whole book of rants about them. No I have much bigger fish to fry. And they come by the name of Darling and Ladyman. Or as I shall call them from now on sweetheart and Ladyboy.
You see these two prize twats are at the front of New Labour’s assault on the poor motorist. And as you know I’m one and they have pissed me off. After failing to get people to use public transport (surprise surprise) mainly because it does not go where you want it and never when, the dynamic duo have decided on another tact. Under the direction of Tony where is the weapon of mass destruction Blair Ladyboy and Sweetheart are going to try to get the car driving masses paying by the mile. This is how the proposal will work or not as we will find out. Instead of a yearly road fund licence and duty on each litre of fuel it is proposed to make you pay for each mile you drive. Different roads will have a different tariff depending on the time of day you use it. Ok so far.
So for example the main A road into a town will be charged at £3.30 per mile during peak i.e. rush hour. But when the rush has died down the same bit of road will only cost 20p per mile. Sounds good doesn’t it? Read on. The idea is to encourage people to use the roads at different times to stop congestion. Problem one. Most people travel along the roads at rush hour because that when they need to get to work or school etc. Nobody sits on the roads in rush hour if they don’t have to. The shops open at nine and most companies start around then. I can see it now “I need a pay rise sir because I can’t afford to drive to work”. Or “can I start at ten and finish at three because I need to get away before the price goes up”. Ok so we understand that the price to go to the Library in the middle of the day is less than going to work to earn money. This of course just means that the roads are going to be full of old ladies in second hand metro’s. All moving at 22mph in second gear.
Creating a new rush hour.
Problem Two. How and who is going to monitor all this. How will Ladyboy and his sidekick know I’m driving on the A30 at 8.30pm and should be paying in blood to do so. Well they have thought of this as well. Every car will have a box of electronic bits under the bonnet that will tell Sweetheart and Ladyboy when and where you’re going. And at the end of every month you will get a little bill drop through your letterbox asking for payment for the privilege. And of course if they know when you’re on the road and which road it’s not a million miles to knowing how fast your going. That part of the circle is already in place. In Italy home of the properly fast cars toll roads are set at intervals in the main roads. You arrive pay the toll and take a ticket. Now the ticket has a time on it. So when you get to the other end if you arrive to soon you must have been speeding.
Now let’s not get on to the subject of making the rest of this technology work. God Where I work we can’t even get a reliable photocopier that works every time you want to reproduce a piece of A4.Think what an unholy pile of shit the country will be in within a month of this coming into effect. And who will pay for all these bills and technology and departments to collate it all? You and me, its going to take thousands of pencil pushing civil servants to make even a half-decent attempt at making it work. Then theirs the green lobbies who will love it. They’re going to come around to your house and offer to have your babies and nurse your sick mother, not. They’re all going to get out of there 2cv’s and run around the common over this. Why well let me tell you. At the moment if I drive a big nice car that has a V eight engine and uses petrol like a prostitute goes through condoms I pay more because I use more petrol. And if I drive a small little car that is kind to flowers it cost me less so there is an incentive to go green or at least greener.
Now under this new proposal of Ladyboy and Sweetheart I can cruise around all day long off peak of course, for virtually no cost at all using all the petrol I can find. I like big cars with big engines so perhaps this is a bloody good plan after all. Funny I never thought Tony Blair would go down, as the PM who thought the environment did not matter. Just as an ending to this I hear on the radio today that the railways have said they could not cope if these plans come in they don’t have the infrastructure to cope with more people. Good example of government joined up thinking.