Feeds

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

As Mayor Ken eyes GPS governor kit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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".

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.