Last year 1.8m people managed to add their names to a petition calling for road pricing plans to abandoned. The people who run the petitions.pm.gov.uk website said that if the website had managed to cope with the load, it would have had over 2m signatures.
There are 60m living in the UK, about 45m are of voting age. Two million of those were so opposed to the British government’s plans to introduce road pricing that they went looking for the petition and signed it.
You’d think that with that much opposition to road pricing, none of the opposition parties (except the Greens of course) would touch it with a barge pole, right? Wrong. Cue Calamity Clegg with his latest illiberal, undemocratic pronouncement: if the Illiberal Dumbocrats were to get into power they would introduce road pricing at an average of 8p/km with a maximum of 12p/km and charge extra for trunk roads and motorways.
Ok, let’s convert kilometres into something that normal people understand – 1km is 0.621371192237 miles so that’s going to be an average of 5p/mile or 7.5p/mile at the maximum rate. The average commute to work in England and Wales is 13.39km (yes, census information is metricated as well now) which is 8.32 miles. That means the average trip to work is going to cost 41.6p/day. There are 8 public holidays a year in England and workers get an average of about 20 days annual leave so that leaves 241 working days in a year after weekends have been taken into account. Multiply that by 41.6p gives you an average annual bill of £100.14p just to travel to work and back, assuming you don’t use a trunk road or a motorway.
Of course, this doesn’t take into account the cost of buying and having fitted a Galileo sat-nav system so Federal Europe and the British government can track your movements and send you a bill which the Department of Transport estimated to be about £600 per vehicle. It also doesn’t take into account the cost to the taxpayer of setting up or running the road pricing scheme which the Department of Transport estimates at £62bn to set up and £8.6bn to run.
There are over 32m vehicles in the UK so that’s just shy of £2k per vehicle in setup costs, plus £600 per vehicle for the spy box plus £100 average annual commute plus £270 per vehicle annual operating costs means each vehicle would cost around £2,970 per year extra just to do an average commute without using a motorway or trunk road and without using your car to go to the shops, to go on holiday, to visit relatives, etc.
Two million people objected strongly enough to road pricing to sign a petition against it yet here we have the leader of a party that laughingly calls itself “Liberal Democrat” making it a key party policy along with regionalisation that we don’t want, European Federalisation that we don’t want, taxing flights even more heavily that we don’t want, replacing our constitution with a wishy washy lefty liberal constitution which we don’t want, more “green” taxes which we don’t want and handing over more of our money for international aid and development which we don’t want.
Nick Clegg is neither liberal, nor a democrat. Thank god they stand about as much chance as a ghost’s fart in a force ten gale at the next election.