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Ordinary people pay extra-ordinary amounts

This week Jason Dawe talks about the prospect of pay-as-you-drive

As a UK motorist, I’m still not at all thrilled about the possible prospect of having to pay to drive on roads I have already subsidised through fuel and road tax. Government Brains Trusts can dress their plans up in every sort of cutting edge exciting futuristic proposal they like, but the very thought that I might, at some stage in the near future, have to ‘subscribe’ to drive on a road I have paid for is an anathema to me. They can dangle the carrot that I can check my road usage online and monitor my eco driving footprint through eco friendly email, but the complex and confusing nature of it all makes me despair.

I imagine those responsible for the planning brainstorming the proposals and getting quite indecently excited when the words ‘tariff’ and ‘contract’ are mentioned. If you are a 20-something, city-based Young Turk, the thought of zones and tariffs are probably second nature – you probably don’t even own a car. But transfer your road charging plans to us ‘ordinary’ people, living in ‘ordinary’ little towns and villages, driving ‘ordinary’ little cars, some of which might not be brand spanking new, and, like so much new legislation and plans, it quickly becomes incredibly complicated and confusing.

All this talk about little black boxes in boots, pre-payments and metered bills begins to sound like something from The Matrix. I just want to get in my car and drive to work, drop the children at school or go shopping. I know how much my journey costs because I put the fuel in. Don’t bill me one week, two weeks, a month later. In the future, will my wife buy me a prepaid ‘Pay and Drive’ voucher for my birthday so I can have a day out in Bristol?

Probably be cheaper to travel in a non-micro chipped wheelie bin and claim you are ‘off setting’ your journey with your recycling!

Happy Retro Motoring!


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