'A two-tier UK road network would divide rich and poor motorists'

This topic contains 14 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  vinalspin 1 month ago.

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  • #92283 Reply

    Brydo
    Participant

    Article

    A two-tier road system would separate the rich and poor motorists forever if we aren’t careful, says Mike Rutherford
    Britain’s ruling Conservative Party spoke enthusiastically about raising the speed limit to 80mph in recent days. I wonder why.

    It’s not as if the typical motorist (or the kids that travel on his or her passenger seats) is, in the current climate, demanding from politicians the right to drive or ride at greater speeds across our troubled motorway network, where 70mph, if you can do it, is plenty in view of the sheer density of traffic. Come to think of it, I know of no motoring or non-motoring individuals, pressure groups or companies who are seriously advocating increased limits in an era when the number of vehicles per usable mile of UK highway is among the highest in the western world.

    But to put this ‘maybe we’ll raise it to 80mph’ suggestion from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps into context, it’s hardly new. Conservative and Labour Governments have occasionally flirted with the idea, usually in cheap, cynical attempts to deflect attention away from more pressing matters.

    This time around, the Conservative cry for 80mph is nothing to do with allowing motorists to travel faster. Instead, it’s about preparations for a two-tier road system that, if we’re not careful, will rapidly and rudely be dumped upon us from a great height. This is a natural extension of the road-pricing ideas recently proposed by the Transport Committee.

    Tier 1 will comprise a miserable, desperately slow network catering for cash-strapped drivers who are unable to pay exorbitant toll fees. Tier 2 is likely to be happier and quicker – this is where the proposed 80mph limit kicks in – and will serve wealthy drivers who’ll pay a very high price for a cocktail of eye-wateringly expensive road-toll fees-cum-fines – either out of their own pocket, via their expense accounts or, in the case of national and local politicians, thanks to income tax and/or council tax-payers who’ll be forced to pick up the tab.

    For decades, close neighbours such as France and Spain have subjected motorists to the unpalatable ‘choice’ between roads that are slow/non-toll/traffic-choked, or fast/tolled/free-flowing. And for their governments and high-income car users, this works just fine. Trouble is, for the low-to-mid-income motoring masses, it’s a daily headache that wastes years of people’s lives due to needlessly long journey times, plus unnecessary wear and tear on their vehicles, which are forced to stop and start every few minutes or seconds.

    It’s crazy that England may adopt this European model, thereby creating one road network for the rich and another for the poor. And it’s ironic that it could be adopted when we’re supposed to be departing the EU, which has long championed tolling systems.

    In the UK at least, driving shouldn’t be about one free-flowing road network for the elite, then a separate series of clogged rat runs for minimum-wage workers – never mind pensioners struggling to make ends meet while proudly trying to maintain their independence. That just wouldn’t be the motoring democracy and freedom the vast majority of Brits surely have a right to – whether wealthy, skint, or somewhere between.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #92344 Reply

    Donkey Oatie

    Its hard to compare UK with France where there is a much lower density of traffic and using N roads is a viable option, maybe not as comfortable and a bit slower than Motorway but usable. As far as I know there are no tolls in Germany or Netherlands. We are so crowded here that a whole new Toll motorway infrastructure would be unrealistic in terms of land acquisition and bearing in mind attitudes to climate change it would be Political suicide for any party proposing it

    #92348 Reply

    ChrisK
    Participant

    Well it’s working in our cities so why not on the cross country roads after all bus and bike lanes, low sulphur zones, congestion charges, the list goes on, are all about getting the working classes and the less well off off the roads so the Richard Branson’s, Mr Dyson’s, Cameron’s of this World can get to there golf courses and private airports to use their helicopters and Lear jets quicker.

    Just to prove the point go and have a look at an area where they have a local Green Party councillor in power and see the cars with massive engines parked outside the Green voters homes.

    #92366 Reply

    Kev

    70mph is too low for modern cars. Nothing more frustrating than being sat at 70 on a empty motorway.

    ‘Most of our motorways have 50mph limit in place when 3 lanes are available. Our motorways are pathetic.

    #92387 Reply

    Wigwam
    Participant

    Where are these mythical empty motorways?  I’d love to find one.

    #92421 Reply

    Winston

    I’d like to see motorways for men, motorways for lorries and commercial vehicles , single track roads for cyclists only and oh yeah I forgot , some roads with inflatable bumpers like you get in ten pin bowling for the wummin ??

    #92422 Reply

    Winston

    I’d also like to see my feet when I look down in the shower ?

    #92430 Reply

    Kev

    M60 is dead at night. Nothing worse than seeing the flashing 50 signs on the “smart” motorway with 3 empty lanes.

    #92461 Reply

    WardyGTC
    Participant

    I don’t agree with Rutherford’s rich and poor angle, it’s about squeezing as much money out of the motorist as possible regardless of being rich or it being affordable. And it’s here, somebody should tell him the M6 toll is a thing already.

    As for the 80mph limit, I couldn’t care less either way. The only time I would realistically be able to do it is on my way back from work at midnight and I doubt it would make much difference to the 12 minute commute.

    #92535 Reply

    Oscarmax
    Participant

    I don’t agree with Rutherford’s rich and poor angle, it’s about squeezing as much money out of the motorist as possible regardless of being rich or it being affordable. And it’s here, somebody should tell him the M6 toll is a thing already. As for the 80mph limit, I couldn’t care less either way. The only time I would realistically be able to do it is on my way back from work at midnight and I doubt it would make much difference to the 12 minute commute.

    Disability blue badge holder are entitled to a free M6 toll road pass, not just the locals, you never we may even be entitled a free pass to the rumoured motorway tolls ?


    In 2005 I suffered a brain injury which has left me with mental and physical disabilities.
    Unfortunately I do get confused and get things wrong, so I apologise in advance.

    #92539 Reply

    vinalspin
    Participant

    In France most of the toll roads are dual carriageways with very smooth tarmac and for the most part, empty, last time I did north to south it was quite expensive but a steady stress free journey, the one good thing they do have on their motorways which we could implement here very easily is a double speed limit depending on the weather, good clear fine weather and it’s 130kph(81mph), bad rainy etc weather and it’s 110kph(68mph) and it works a treat.

    #92548 Reply

    SaintsMan

    It’s not just France vinalspin, most mainland European countries have lower limits for bad weather. Germany has a “bei nasse” (heavy rain) limit of 80kph and a further “bei nebel” (fog) limit of 50kpm.

    I’ve mentioned in the past about my heavy right foot but after seeing the carnage of the M4 fog crash back in 1991 first hand, I always slow right down in fog.

    #92553 Reply

    PillBoy
    Participant

    I think it was the M5,  close to Taunton.

    #92555 Reply

    WardyGTC
    Participant

    Good point @oscarmax, I think we even have one somewhere but it’s probably expired.

    #92560 Reply

    vinalspin
    Participant

    The point is that we could have a tier system, higher for good weather and lower for bad and I totally agree with the slower limits for foggy weather, I drove trucks for years and have seen way more than my fair share of horrendous accidents in the fog, not all due to speeding but I can’t help but think they would have been far less severe with a low limit in force, I can do without ever seeing another pile of dead bodies on a dark foggy morning.

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