Feeds

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

As Mayor Ken eyes GPS governor kit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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".

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.