back to article Roadpricing satnav spybox trials under way

The UK's Transport minister has confirmed that technical trials of road-pricing systems are underway. At a conference yesterday, Paul Clark discussed the ongoing tests - first reported in September - with delegates and journalists. The government, despite having seemed to back away from a national road pricing scheme last year …

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K
Bronze badge

ummm

So what exactly does the exorbitant money I spend on road tax actually pay for?

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Anonymous Coward

in car box

doesn't some do one of these for the London CC zone ... uses GPS to determine location and as soon as it detects you've entered th CC zone it automatically connects to the CC charging system and pays the charge. If motorway charging is introduced and they insist on using ANPR to police it then I can see something like this as being a attractive option.

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Stop

The 'Road Toll Troll' didn't die...

it just went away to lick its wounds and come up with a new, friendlier* approach. This will, ultimately result in free, Gov't approved and issued SatNavs for all.

Whether you want one, or not.

* The friendlier approach involves the Road Toll Troll replacing its stick with nails in, for a more modern, shiny electronic one. At the end of the day though, it's still a bloody great stick. And it still wants to beat the shite out of us with it.

Road Pricing (by whatever means)

Restricted Air Travel (not 'green')

ID cards (if they get their way)

All communications logged / tapped (if they get their way)

Spot the pattern.

Welcome to NuLabouria

Travel Authorisation and Identity Papers Please, Citizen.

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Flame

£1.30 PER MILE?!

At the moment it costs me about £0.16 per mile. A "modern" car will cost significantly less, and a "hyper-efficient" car like those 90mpg diesels would be down to about 5.5p/mile. So they'll be charging people about 11 times as much to run their cars?!

Why not just... oh, I don't know... charge the gas-guzzlers based on the amount of fuel they use? Yes, that could work.

Seriously, this government has lost what grip of reality they may have had at some point. I mean there's not going to be any economic growth for the rest of Brown's term in office, and to get more traffic along the same pipe in the same time that traffic has to speed up not slow down. Their decision that things are too crowded could also be alleviated by implementing a better minimum speed limit on roads at times so that the "cautious" (i.e. dangerously slow) drivers can be pulled over and have their licenses removed.

Flame because that's what this'll cause. It would normally have been just a crash, but the Fire Engine was stuck behind traffic in the hard shoulder and couldn't get to the scene till it was just too late.

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Id like to see...

where they plan to fit these things on motorbikes...

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Coat

Let me know...

... when the next on=line petition is launched to decry this unfair taxing. It was proven useless last time and simply changing the name isn't going to make it any different.

This is the one thing that could actuall lead to a revolution in this country. I for one won't take this junk lying down. I'm liable to shove my transponder unit somewhere on Aunty DoT where the sun doesn't shine.

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Anonymous Coward

Surly a simpler idea

would be to just send me a big bill every year for tax and I can then pay it. Inventing complicated ways of making me pay is just a waist of time and resources. Or is this a new government employment scheme?

The other thing that irritates me, while I'm here, is that whenever the UK copies something like this they always do it in the worse possible way. The system in France, for example, costs less and is less intrusive so why not do that? They also dropped car tax!

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Boffin

Slow down to go faster

> lowered speed limits at peak times, which enable a given number of motorway lanes to get a significant amount more traffic through in a given time.

Eh? How does that work? We are encouraged to follow behind the vehicle in front with a gap of no less than two seconds. That means a maximum of 30 vehicles per minute, no matter what their speed. 1800 vehicles per hour per lane, tops, unless you want to close it up and be held responsible in the event of a rear-end shunt.

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Coat

more tracking...

next, there will be a tracker to bill me every time i take a shit, wherever it may be....

mines the one with the tinfoil lining and matching hat....

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Stop

There is no need for this - just another tax and privacy erosion

"Why not just... oh, I don't know... charge the gas-guzzlers based on the amount of fuel they use?..."

They already do - It's called fuel duty - the tax you pay at the pump depending on how much fuel you use. This is just another way to collect more tax and I bet its just a scheme to keep a record of everyone's movements. GPS devices dont send out any data but I bet the boxes will record movements and post them to a national database. There is no need for this - gas guzzlers get hit hard under the current taxing scheme so why change it?

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Flame

Grrrrrrr

When will these c**ts realise that if they want people off the roads then they need to sort out a viable alternative, until then taxing us is just pissing off the populace (read voters) and seen for what it is a way of filling the empty coffers they have pissed up the wall on their profligate tax and spend (on rubbish and quangos).

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@ Paul, Jonathan Richards

You misunderstand somewhat, in regard to motorbikes.

They won't bother installing them on the bikes, they'll just insert them in the bikers!

Eventually, they'll inset them in us all.

Theory is, if the traffic is moving at a slower maximum speed, there is a lower frequency of 'shockwaving' (car brakes slightly, car behind a bit harder, car behind a bit harder still, then eventually a car stops, then the next, you get the picture, doesn't require an 'incident', hence when you do eventually get moving you get that "WTF was that all about" feeling) and the traffic actually moves quicker on average, therefore travelling a greater distance.

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Boffin

@Jonathan Richards

Turbulence. Although what you say is true assuming 100% efficient driving, at higher speeds, efficiency drops faster as numbers of cars increase. That is why you get the phantom jams where everything stops for no apparent reason. At higher speeds, you have less time to react to someone braking, so you brake more violently, causing the person behind to brake hard and so on.

Travelling slower with more efficiency can lead to a greater throughput of cars.

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Motorways are supposed to be fast

Gawd `elp us, guv`nor! Have the powers-that-be lost their minds? They seem to have completely lost sight of the fact that motorways were supposed to have been built to facilitate high-speed motoring in order to get from A to B quicker. Now what do we get? Instead of improvements to achieve this goal, all we get is pussy-footing around with variable speed limits and other useless "remedies". I see there are now traffic lights appearing on the M25 "on" slip roads, anti-clockwise at junctions 6 and 8! I really look forward to seeing just exactly how these are going to ease congestion. I drive to Heathrow a lot and the stretch from the A3 junction, clock-wise, which just happens to have variable speed limits, is always a pain in the you-know-what. In my opinion, the limits cause more problems than they solve. The knock-on effect is similar to the aftermath of an accident and what is the point of that? Yes, there may be more traffic on a given stretch but what`s the point if it's virtually at a stand-still? The more I drive, the more I despair!

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Road tolls, maybe

Don't have a problem with road tolls, with gates like they do out in Europe, you get a ticket when you get on and you pay to get off, nice and easy, motorway's only, not a problem.

Sorry, but I'm buggered if you going fit a tracking gadget to my car, Lord know what nefarious use it will be put to in future, give 'em an inch and all that!

Get stuffed Gordon!

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Stop

Creatively illegal

Or alternatively a bit of twocing would do

"the roads panopticon could swiftly spot the mismatch between the activities of the box and the plates" - and do what exactly? Oh - I know - immediately despatch the nearest available traffic cop to apprehend the villain - now - how to get the villain to hang about long enough for that to happen.

Maybe we could have extra gantry signs - "Come in Number so-called T666 KKK you're time is up - please wait on the hard shoulder for a couple of days while we come to arrest you - you naughty boy"

Spoofed plates isn't a problem big enough to justify the kind of money involved in this scheme.

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transponder units labour do it again.

There could be many advantages to replacing number plates with transponders but as usual New Labour will do it the 3rd way and it will take ever to develop, be far to complex, open to fraud, oh and lets not forget fail to work.

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Silver badge

Of course...

...you *could* just put the freight back on the rails where it was before the M1 opened. Cheaper all round and way more carbon-concious than yet more electronics.

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Why not ....

Charge £300 pa road tax and then _if you do less than 10,000 miles pa_ you get money back?

or

Raise fuel prices so that people pay per mile?

or

Give massive aid for people wanting to get greener cars say a £8,000 voucher? (maybe even giving everyone a G-Whizz when they reach 18)

or

Use the road tax to improve the roads - or even better the public transport system!

or

stop treating people as if they were criminals (well - aside from the ones who ARE criminals at any rate)

ttfn

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Anonymous Coward

Have they actually USED a GPS?

Over in the bike forums, one of the new pastimes is displaying impossible speeds that the GPS suddenly decided to display, like 250mph on a little tiddler bike. You can then look at the plot trail and see where the GPS decided you were suddenly 10 miles away from where you actually were, which then accounts for the "speed"

Plus (at least over here) you have issues with tall buildings and trees. You people don't have any of those, I don't think.

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How Long Before

My TomTom has options for "Quickest/Fastest/Cheapest" route?

Cue mega congestion on the cheaper roads...

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Anonymous Coward

@Slower speed limits

From http://www.modot.org/stlouis/links/VariableSpeedLimits.htm:

"If traffic slows down as they approach a congested area and all the drivers stay at a constant speed, traffic will get through the congested area faster. Imagine the highway as a funnel. Now, imagine the traffic which has to travel along the highway during a certain time as a container of rice. If you pour all the rice into the funnel at the same time, it gets congested at the bottom of the funnel and takes some time to work through the funnel. Now, if you slowly pour the rice into the funnel – keeping it at a steady pace – the rice moves through the funnel evenly and doesn’t cause congestion. In fact, even though the rice is entering the funnel slower, all the rice gets through the funnel (to its destination) faster."

@Jonathan Richards

It's people not doing this that causes congestion in the first place. If everyone kept their distance, and drove at the correct speed (not too fast or too slow for the conditions) then traffic would move freely.

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Anonymous Coward

Some answers

@Paul - If Brown has his way, he'll be fitting them on PUSH bikes.

@K - hmmm let's see ... ministers second homes, MEP's travel costs whie they nip in and nip back out again, the ministerial car fleet and bodyguards... need I go on?

I tried to write with the MoT (or was it Aunty DoT) when this first happened a few years ago, pointing out all the flaws. The letter I got back showed what a complete travesty all this is actually going to be ... and it also showed that they are going to continue their plans no matter what the technical problems thrown in their way ... and that they are perfectly happy for the public to suffer the chaos that such a system will introduce.

The only thing that will stop this madness is the public standing up and saying, "Oi, Brown, NO!"

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Average Speed Cameras with ANPR

Do these actually work?

The reason I ask is because I've lost track of the number of BMW/Audi/Golf* drivers that don't actually understand what the word 'average' actually means.

I really think that some of them believe that they can go past the first camera at 50mph, drive at 120mph til they can see the next camera and drive past that at 50mph to give them an average of 50mph.

I'd like to think that stating the above would cause some of them to realise that they are in fact wrong, but let's face it they're less likely to be reading El Reg than looking at GQ, Men's Health, Heat or themselves in a mirror.

*insert other make of vehicle that comes with arsehole fitted as standard (the word 'women' will probably fit here just as well)

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Anonymous Coward

Can't wait...

Presumably fuel duty will be abolished, since otherwise we'd be paying twice.

No, I thought not...

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Stop

Lower speed limits?

Utterly crazy notion IMO. Lowering the speed limit *lowers* the number of cars that can travel at a given time.

I know the theory.. reduce the amount of traffic at the junctions by controlling the flow. Unfortunately it's been proven time and time again to be utter bunkum - it has little effect at the junctions and causes huge traffic jams at the entrances to the lower speed zones.

Worse, because of the effect of people braking this can cause the entire low speed zone to become one huge 20mph zone.

The way to increase the traffic capacity is for every part of the motorway network to be at the same speed, so that everyone keeps moving, not randomly throttling parts of it.

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Black Helicopters

Creating a petition

Well, I'm creating a petition. I've had enough of this. More details when I've created it.

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Gold badge

Road tax

>So what exactly does the exorbitant money I spend on road tax actually pay for?

It's not been 'road tax' since 1936. It has been called VED for years. It's a tax on car ownership and more recently the pollution your car causes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_excise_duty

So next time you moan at a cyclist about who's paying for the roads you might consider that the cyclist is paying for them via some other tax (and just because they're on a bike it doesn't mean they don't have a licenced car at home).

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Alert

A real way to cut congestion?

Why not ban HGVs from A- & M-roads during peak hours? Say 0700-0900 & 1600-1800.

They already have limits on how many hours they can drive, so why not limit which ones?

Besides, they're already at work. HGV-free roads during rush hour would give the rest of us a chance to get there!

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Gridlock ?

Seems they are forgetting the inverted pyramid..

Y'know the one the pensions funds are in the shit over. ( As well as them pilfering it)

The baby boomer years are long gone. Thousands of OAP's will be coming OFF the roads in the next five years and with all the Polacs going home...............

Trying to suss out a reason to use Paris icon !!

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There is a solution coming

From the government you love. See, it's really simple.

First, you live in the gov mandated apartment that's easy walking distance to your work.

Second, your work is mandated by the gov in a nearby building so you don't have to drive.

Third, you get to stand in long lines for bread at the local mart.

Fourth, there's no place for a vehicle to be parked in your part of the "city".

Fifth, only the leaders will need cars to get to their dacha.

Starting to get the picture, comrade?

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Flame

God I'm glad I don't live in England anymore

So tell me, what is the huge fucking sticker you pay for every year and stick in your windscreen for? Apparently to fund the system that will force motorists to pay for the roads.

When I left Blighty, road tax was a bit of over a hundred quid. I'm guessing it costs a tad more than that now.

I even hear that the driving license I got just before leaving the country doesn't work any more.

Then you had that jape the government played on you for a few years, pretending that the road tax you were paying was the full amount, presumably the punch line was the back taxes you had to pay this year.

All I can say is if I lived in England today, I'd by a 1977 ford escort (no fucking rat-me-out black boxes), rip off my number plates and stick a huge sign on top of my car saying 'FUCK YOU'.

Time for some new 'Poll Tax' riots I do believe. Or have the English become too spineless to express their disappointment in a manner appropriate to the situation?

Flames because Guy Fawkes isn't the only one with an interesting idea. Exactly how much is dynamite these days?

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Stop

insurance

I saw an advert for a certain insurance company and the dog on it (I will not tell you wat compnay it was oh no no no) was telling us about his deal and the small print along the botton sadi "tracking devices may be required for some vicheles" /i asume it is only a matter of time befre it is an insurace requirment to have tracking devices and the gov can wash there hands of it saying it is a requirment of insurance comnays not us

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Flame

Told you so!!!!!!!!!!!!

I said in the comments about the backdating of the increased VED for gas guzzlers to 2001 that this would be the next stage in this Governments plans for motorists. I said that they would start to regard VED as a carbon tax and than start charging motorists for the roads because a carbon tax is not for roadbuilding. Darling has always planned to introduce road pricing and Gordo will do anything he can to persecute anyone who can do something he can't do himself.

Posted anonymously in cse Jacqui & Hazel are watching

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Pirate

WTF!

<rant>It boggles my mind. As the driver of a big engined car and someone that likes to do what most would consider to be stupidly dangerous speeds I can assure you that the answer is not to slow down traffic. That just makes a bad situation already worse. Let me explain. When driving slowly because I'm stuck behind some dick head that thinks he has a right to do 50 in the right hand lane I get a) frustrated (naturally) and b) bored. Bored is the real problem because this is where my concentration on the road starts to deviate and I start looking around at other shit. I can honestly say that I've had more near accidents going slowly than I have at speed and it's because I'm not concentrating. So yeah, great idea, make all the road users bored and cause them to concentrate on everything but the road. Great plan. Not to mention how frustrated everyone will become because motorways are now even slower.

Add to that, that I already spend £280 - £300 per month on fuel of which half of that goes to the government. And now they want more? I don't see how charging us more to run our cars for longer is going to help reduce carbon emmisions. All that's going to happen is that the government is going to pocket even more money to spend on stupid shit that doesn't actually benefit our society, and because we're all on the road for longer, carbon emissions will actually go up.

Now here's the part that really pisses me off... A rail card for my journey costs £330 pounds (petrol £280 - £300). So already, driving my big ass gas guzzler is cheaper. On top of that, on a quiet Sunday morning I can get into work in 30 mins. That same journey via public transport is at it's very quickest when everything runs smoothly and people don't block up the underground platforms, 2 hours. So how about, instead of taxing 7 shades of shit out of motorists, they actually do something with the train-wreck they call public transport, because if I could travel door to door in an hour (slightly longer than it takes to drive) on public transport, I would probably opt for the public transport option, and of course assuming that it cost the same, or which it should, less than driving.

I could probably rant for another 10 pages on these issues and I haven't even touched on stupid drivers yet but I figure I'll save that for another day.</rant>

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Flame

Two things spring to mind...

...Back in the fuel protests, a minister (forgot which one, sorry) said our fuel duty and road tax were higher than on the continent because we didnt have toll roads. So, if this ever gets here it will have to be revenue-neutral (fuel/road taxes drop or are abolished, government gets about the same amount of money from motorists). I just dont see that happening...the government will use this to increase revenues no matter what they say.

...And no matter what they say, the scope WILL creep. What did they say about terrorism laws, that they would only be used in extreme circumstances when approved by a judge, who was in McBroons back pocket for allowing all Icelandic banks to be branded terrorists recently??

Yes, I can virtually guarantee you will be paying more, getting less and will be branded a criminal even for being in the area of a crime, or for speeding. Or both.

Want to complain? You must be a terrorist then...Gimmee your money.

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Happy

Ahhhh... *satisfaction*

At least we just voted our resident autocrat out of office over here. Enjoy your surveillance!

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Alert

If they're doing all this

I want a big tax rebate for riding my bike everywhere!! They're encouraging green tranport and using that as an excuse for this so I want a tax rebate of £1.30 a mile for riding 20 miles a day on my bike rather than using polluting transportation!!

Fair's fair I think?

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Flame

Chop em down

The solution is to chop down these ANPR cameras as fast as they go up. If the government isn't building any new roads, we've paid for the ones we've got time and time again in taxes, so they can fuck right off if they think they can charge us every time we use them.

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Flame

@James

What you fail to realise, James, is that the 'dickhead' doing 50 in the fast lane is doing so because of the average speed cameras that are all around you (maybe you have spotted them when you are 'looking around at other shit').

Just a guess but you probably sit in the middle lane when the left lane is empty too...

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Unhappy

@ David Wiernicki

Congrats on getting rid of your resident numpty. Just remember;

BHO ain't actually Prez 'til Jan 20, and I'm sure there's a mess of good ol' boys muttering things like "You ain't President yet, Boy!"

Do you really think that all the lovely *tools* your Security Agencies now have are going to be given up lightly? Or in a hurry?

It's a small step you've taken. The end of the trip is a LONG way off.

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Re; Tracking

"next, there will be a tracker to bill me every time i take a shit, wherever it may be..."

just remember to get a receipt

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Censoring the petitions?

Well, it's been a short while since I set up my petition but it still hasn't appeared on the petitions page yet.

I wonder if they are deliberately trying to avoid a repeat of the last trouncing by not allowing the petitions to surface?

Oh, the jaded face of democracy!

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Government road tolls & in car spy kits

If the government are so concerned about the amount of traffic on the roads,& truly concerned about enviromental polution. Why don't they start rebuilding our railway systems back up to the pre Beecham cuts,but with the advantage being all electric. Then require all haulage where practical to be transported by rail to local depot's, as in the old days. This would take an astronomical amount of traffic off the roads, thus leaving more room for human transport. I know this would mean the end for a lot of long distance haulage companies, but likewise job's were lost closing the railways & depot's Making people jobless has never stopped the government from progress before, & the new rail system would make more new jobs & also make commuting more convenient in area's previously lost in the beecham cuts. Polution would be drastically reduced. Our reliance on petrol & diesel would be drastically reduced, alleviating demand for these fuels & reducing our national debt by way of reduced import of fuels from abroad. A huge reduction in tyres for transport, would mean even less polution in the manufacturing industry. Our motorways would need less maintenance due to the removal of a major ammount of heavy goods vehicles. Less demand for new building of motorways & byepass's would be needed.Possibly even a reduction in accidents & deaths because of the lower traffic levels & the reduced chance of heavy goods vehicles being involved in accidents. Also foreign haulage would be loaded onto trains at point of entry into UK or exit from France thus leading to a reduction in foreign haulage & less accidents & deaths, caused by foreign drivers on our motorways.

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