Tuesday, February 20, 2007


There was someone on the radio yesterday morning talking about the expansion of the London Congestion Charging Zone, and arguing that it was pointless, and that it's wrong to charge people to use their own cars.
This is very much in line with the 1.5+ million people who've signed the petition against charging road users per road use.
The fundamental issue in this seems, to me, to be about whether it's your right to use your car as much as you god well like.
This is the mindset that the years of Thatcher rule has instilled in us, providing society that, without a car, you are nothing. This mindset pervades pretty much everything.
However, if we take the view that simply owning a car does not mean you have the right to drive it, then things like Congestion and Pay Per Use make a lot more sense. You have to buy your right to use your car. If the cost of ownership remained about the same, but the cost of using your car suddenly skyrocketed, you'd have to whether it was worth it everytime you got in your car. Similarly, if you consider using your car a priviledge, not a right, you spend more time considering every journey.
Obviously, all of this is completely pointless without a reliable public transport system, which is the one thing we don't have in this country.
I honestly thought I had a coherent thought about this before I wrote this.

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