Congestion charges: “One road for the rich, one road for the poor.”

Congestion charges encourage wealthy people to use cars, says the car review website

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

“Congestion charges effectively create a class system: one road for the rich; one road for the poor.”

“Wealthy people love congestion charges. They simply pay a little extra for having the roads cleared of poor people who can’t afford to pay congestion charges.”

“So, the rich get around quicker, while the people who clean the rich peoples’ homes are penalised for driving to work.”

Matthew-Wilson believes the fastest way to reduce road congestion is to sort out public transport and strongly encourage ride-sharing.

“Restrict the fastest lanes to vehicles that carry three or more occupants. Restrict the next fastest lanes to vehicles with two or more occupants, then make the slowest lanes available to cars with only one occupant.”

“If vehicles carrying multiple occupants get to work quicker, then all drivers – rich and poor alike – have a powerful incentive to share their vehicles.”

Matthew-Wilson believes the longer-term solution to gridlock must revolve around alternatives to cars.

I’m a huge fan of public transport, but it has be quality public transport, not cattle transport for humans. There’s no reason whatsoever that public transport can’t be as quick, safe and pleasant as driving a car.

In the meantime we need a system that encourages all people to share their vehicles, rather than a system that heavily favours wealthy drivers.”

“The advocates for congestion charges are selling the lie that these charges are the only practical way to fund transport infrastructure. In fact, the easiest and fairest way of collecting revenue for improved transport is to make the trucking industry pay its fair share.”

“About two thirds of the cost of building new highways goes to making them strong enough for large vehicles, which are mainly trucks. Excluding events such as storm damage, about 80% of all road maintenance costs are the result of the damage caused by trucks.”

“Yet, the trucking industry pays just 23% of the costs of building and maintaining these highways.”

Matthew-Wilson believes the government should make the trucking industry pay the full costs of the roads they use.

“We’re talking billions in uncollected revenue here, yet the government turns a blind eye to this scam, while penalising poor motorists.”