Feeds

Road pricing 'back-burnered' by Brown gov't

As Mayor Ken eyes GPS governor kit

Top three mobile application threats

Blighty's dark Orwellian future may have been put on hold, as news breaks that the Brown government has abandoned road-pricing plans in their current various forms. The city government of London, meanwhile, under the direction of roguish cheeky-chappie Mayor Ken Livingstone, continues to charge ahead with technology-based traffic control solutions.

Reports of the government U-turn on national road pricing appeared first in the Telegraph yesterday. The broadsheet scribes say they've had an advance look at Department for Transport (DfT) draft responses to points raised by backbench MPs around road-pricing legislation.

Apparently, DfT mandarins - no doubt with Cabinet clearance - will tell the parliamentarians that:

"It is not the department's intention, at this stage, to take the separate powers needed to price the national road network."

It seems that congestion - the primary justification for introducing road pricing - is primarily a local problem and thus not suitable for a national solution.

"We agree that there are congestion problems on parts of the strategic road network," says the DfT, "but 88 per cent of congestion is in urban areas. Therefore it is sensible to prioritise the assessment of road pricing in these areas."

The new plan will be to let local governments price or otherwise regulate their bits of the road network as they see fit. So far the main example of this is the London congestion charge, which is enforced by using controversial Automatic Numberplate Recognition (ANPR) technology to track vehicle movements.

Predictably, in the wake of recent clownish "carbomb" attempts, the government has granted terror police routine access to the London tracking system. This has confirmed the widely-held view that no matter the initial purpose of any vehicle-tracking technology, it will swiftly become an automated surveillance tool.

National road-pricing - quite apart from being unpopular in itself with motorists - would by its nature have included means of tracking every vehicle in Britain centrally, with obvious privacy implications. Unsurprisingly, it hasn't been seen as a vote-winner by the nervous new Brown government.

"It has been back-burnered," according to a Telegraph "senior government source".

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.