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Congestion charge in the Peak District


Les Henson
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I saw on the news this morning that plans are afoot to have a congestion charge for traffic in the Peak District. Apparently people like the peace and tranquility and traffic spoils it. Pity for you if live in Manchester/Sheffield, as to get to some parts of the country you have to cross the Peak District or make one hell of a detour. So if you pay your Road tax (for maintaining the road I would have thought), what does the congestion charge pay for?

It seems to me that you are paying a fee for using a road that you pay for anyway.

Daylight robbery is what it is.

Les. :)

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So how can they justify this then?

Thats what Road tax is about... and as these road are covered by that tax - how do they get away with it? is it voluntary or compulsary?

And don't turn me into a newt... (witches do that on monty python - so it must be true) :D

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So how can they justify this then?

Cos they've got more MP's than anyone else and don't give a stuff about anyone but themselves.

Gawd help us if their road charging scheme ever comes to fruition - my last long distance commute of 60 miles each way to/from near Heathrow would probably have cost £30+/day- or in other words, not worth considering. But this is what the Government want - fewer cars on the road; and the only way they're considering is to make it too f*****g expensive to run one.

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I live in the Peak District and this thread was the first I had heard about such a charge.

I have to admit that the traffic is very bad during the summer, but you have to put with it if you live in such a beautiful tourist destination as the Peaks. It's not just a problem for us, but also for those in the Lakes and other national parks.

Having said that, I would not support the introduction of such a charge, as a resident the congestion has not be caused by me but by those visiting where I live :angry::angry::angry:

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Thats just it though.... they (goverment) arent interested in the people who live in these areas, just the tourist that they can make money from.... with tourist centres, shops , education centres car parks etc ...think of the revenue from that lot !!!

Also the cost of houses IN the National Park regions has ALREADY (in some places) doubled.

After all, we all know that for some, Post code is sooooooo important.!

Little story to make you giggle with referance to the above.:

150 new houses built in the village where i live.

Advertised in London as "delightful Village location in "West Sussex"

Well when they all moved into their "delightful " houses in "West Sussex Village"

They discovered that they had HAMPSHIRE POSTCODES!!!!!! (village IS West Sussex but nearest post office is Hampshire)

Lots of letters from solicitors to the Estateagents and threats of legal action going on here now!!!

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Is it me or are people shallow and really really stupid. Who cares where you live or what your post code is.

I heard that the Government where going to charge you more money for having a nice view from your house.. e.g. Devon hillsides/valleys etc etc... How will they decide whats a good view and what isn't?

:blink:

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I don't quite live in the Peak District National Park (Buxton is surrounded by the PDNP, but excluded from it), so normally have to cross its boundaries to go anywhere. There's no way I would support the idea of a 'Congestion Charge'. Public transport into the Peak is too infrequent for most visitors and locals alike, so there is no real choice but to use the car. There are certain routes/times which I know to avoid and I also have preferred routes for getting across the Peak.

As with other National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are some areas which draw all the traffic and/or tourists, while others remain pleasantly quiet. Given that the roads have already been paid for out of our taxes, why not surcharge the parking in the hotspots? There are already dual pricing schemes in place for local facilities, where PDNP residents pay a fractional rate compared to those that live outside. This could be applied equally to parking.

Fortunately, this is at the feasibility study stage at the moment and the BBC has picked up on the story. I'm sure it's not the last we will hear of schemes like this.

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Since time began, people have always played the"JONES " game, and will continue to play it.

Trends/Fashions are how goverments control (for want of a better word) the masses.

One person/ group of people say that "this" is how we all should dress/live drive/like etc etc and for fear of being differant the masses follow suit.

Now IF we and by we i mean the people who DONT follow suit were to set the latest trend/fashion in what to drive where to live how to live our lives etc......... there would be no need for conversations like this?

But alass we are not in a position or a large enough mass, to change things.

Just look at the last election!!!!

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I think there are better ways than congestion charging - and infact it will only be sucessful if there are several alternative methods, for example, if you don't want to pay the conestion charge in London you can take the tube, train, bus, taxi, light railway etc.etc. ... can you do that in the more remote areas? Mm.

The only way it will be sucessful is a fully integrated transport strategy, one of the things many local authorities are currently missing, and, even if they have one (use Hampshire as an example), the funding isn't there to fully implement it (Portsmouth/Gosport/Fareham tram link for example). Sad really, people will only get out of their cars if there's a viable alternative, the one thing that's almost impossible to create.

It's unlikley congestion charging will be considered in the smaller places such as the NF for example, there are still so many avenues to be investigated, e.g. compulsory charging in the car parks, weekend and summer time additional public transport... all of which have yet to be implemented fully. It's compulsory for all Local Authorities and Highway Authorities to investigate *every* other method before charging for highway space will be considered.

For those interested in this sort of thing there's an 'interesting' document on the DfT website as to the current thinking. It'll happen if no objections based in real fact are made (not just 'I don't want to pay'). At the end of the day if we want better air quality and less congested roads all avenues have to be explored. Just a shame the infrastructure isn't in place for it to be completely successful.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_...ads_029788.hcsp

Consultation is a legal requirement when it comes to the highways, as long as you don't miss it there's no reason not to make your voice heard. The only way these things get in is by people assuming 'they've decided anyway, there's no point in bothering', it's not uncommon for Highways decisions to get overturned or other options considered as the priority.

Jen

Your Friendly Traffic Management Engineer.

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Aren't some of us missing the point entirely here. The government sees undesirable behaviour (people packing the roads of the peak district). There are two distinct possibilities for dealing with this, carrot or stick. The carrot is to help people get out of their cars, bring people through from Manchester on the train (which terminates in Buxton) etc. Only when all of these possibilities have been exhausted should they go towards the stick approach. If they charge people to travel through the peak district, less people will travel through the peak district - problem solved. No. It might solve the traffic problems, but it will kill any prosperity in what is actually quite a poor area (I grew up in Whalley Bridge). This will cause unemployment and lack of social cohesion in the places that at the moment are so pretty (Bakewell, Eyam, Dove Holes :P ) This will mean that fewer people will want to go there, meaning that the scheme has worked perfectly. The idea of a beautiful village with lots of wonderful shops and only one or two people there enjoying the peace and quiet is daft. It is exactly the same rose coloured dream held by the Ramblers association when they think of the countryside - beautiful, well managed fields with no mechanisation working to spoil their peace and quiet.

It is a poorly thought out plan, and only there to make money for the government. Do you think for a second the money raised would be used to improve public transport, or to bypass these pretty little villages? Not a chance. The motorist is simply seen by the government (who I voted for, btw - believing that they were slightly less crooked than the other bunch) as a cash resource to tap at will. When they are a bit short of cash, on goes another motoring tax. Shameful.

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[quote name='Jen' date='Dec 6 2005, 04:39 PM' post=

For those interested in this sort of thing there's an 'interesting' document on the DfT website as to the current thinking. It'll happen if no objections based in real fact are made (not just 'I don't want to pay'). At the end of the day if we want better air quality and less congested roads all avenues have to be explored. Just a shame the infrastructure isn't in place for it to be completely successful.

Many small towns and villages all over the country are having houses built in and around them.

Bringing more people and more cars.

The schools cant cope with the extra children.

The Doctors cant cope with the extra patients

The sewage and water supplies cant cope

The roads were never built for that many cars

And the public transport is practicly non exsistant

These points and the effect on the infracture are raised EVERY week by members of the public and their representitives in local Goverment and go unheard.!

Consultation is a legal requirement when it comes to the highways, as long as you don't miss it there's no reason not to make your voice heard. The only way these things get in is by people assuming 'they've decided anyway, there's no point in bothering', it's not uncommon for Highways decisions to get overturned or other options considered as the priority.

Again nice if that were true! Consultation is a legal requirement yes, but many of those who have views on how their lives are effected by Planning (ie the elderly and those who do not have access to the internet) only get to hear about it after the fact/deadline for response.

P.S. just used you points Jen to show another side of the coin.

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[Controversial/devil's advocate] I rather like the idea of congestion charging. Sure, it might drive the council estate TV-dinner brigade and the ASBO seekers deeper into the cities, but that leaves the countryside for those who use it to eke a living, and those who can make enough money in the city to live outside it. The former can offset the charge against tax and the latter pay enough tax to return a workable public transport infrastructure to rural areas, probably based on a demand-responsive model. The result is an attractive, scenic area without the poor cluttering it up with their lowered boom-box Fiestas, white UPVC conservatories and names for greasy cafes that use Ks and Zs in their neon signs.

John

(Some of the above may not represent my opinion and is merely here to promote discussion)

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[Controversial/devil's advocate] I rather like the idea of congestion charging. Sure, it might drive the council estate TV-dinner brigade and the ASBO seekers deeper into the cities, but that leaves the countryside for those who use it to eke a living, and those who can make enough money in the city to live outside it. The former can offset the charge against tax and the latter pay enough tax to return a workable public transport infrastructure to rural areas, probably based on a demand-responsive model. The result is an attractive, scenic area without the poor cluttering it up with their lowered boom-box Fiestas, white UPVC conservatories and names for greasy cafes that use Ks and Zs in their neon signs.

John

(Some of the above may not represent my opinion and is merely here to promote discussion)

On the other hand, I work in a rural area (near Leamington Spa) and commute from the middle of a council estate in Birmingham because I can't afford a house where I work. Congestion charging would force me to quit my job and find one in town - which is of course, exactly what it's intended to do, but there are knock on effects. My employers would be hit very hard as a high percentage of the workforce commute a fair distance, quite a few of us from the Birmingham area where charges would be quite likely. They'd either have to give us large raises or lose us - and we'd be very difficult to replace for the same reasons.

Given our current dependency on the car (ie. many of us live and work in places that make commuting by other means impractical or impossible), any measure that makes something we can't avoid (at least in the short term) more expensive is surely going to result in increased inflation?

On the other hand, if commuting into the city gets horrifically expensive, that should push up house prices in town and cause them to drop in rural areas... :unsure: I vote for criminally high congestion charges on the M42 and M40, right now. This is a problem we must solve! :D

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rose coloured dream held by the Ramblers association when they think of the countryside - beautiful, well managed fields with no mechanisation working to spoil their peace and quiet.

shades of pol pot there, with his 'brilliant' agrarian revolution, should we simply shoot the ramblers now to save a holocaust? :rolleyes:

Many small towns and villages all over the country are having houses built in and around them.

Bringing more people and more cars.

The schools cant cope with the extra children.

The Doctors cant cope with the extra patients

The sewage and water supplies cant cope

The roads were never built for that many cars

And the public transport is practicly non exsistant

These points and the effect on the infracture are raised EVERY week by members of the public and their representitives in local Goverment and go unheard.!

Aren't all those new residents paying council tax? Then wesminster adds a block grant that is? / should be? proportional to the amount of council tax paid? so the local councils should be rolling in it unless they're hiving it off to secret offshore funds.. :huh:

I rather like the idea of congestion charging. Sure, it might drive the council estate TV-dinner brigade and the ASBO seekers deeper into the cities, but that leaves the countryside for those who use it to eke a living, and those who can make enough money in the city to live outside it. The former can offset the charge against tax and the latter pay enough tax to return a workable public transport infrastructure to rural areas, probably based on a demand-responsive model. The result is an attractive, scenic area without the poor cluttering it up with their lowered boom-box Fiestas, white UPVC conservatories and names for greasy cafes that use Ks and Zs in their neon signs.

good points although the congestion charge is naturally higher than it should be, to cover admin cost. The London charge doesn't necessarily make a profit; so what you tend to get is a price that hurts, rather than a price that works.

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These points and the effect on the infracture are raised EVERY week by members of the public and their representitives in local Goverment and go unheard.!

Mandy, that's because the examples you've given are *not* local government issues, your local government does not have the 'yes' or 'no' as to whether development takes place. Most developments in the south are thrown out by the local councils (the inital 'no'), the developer goes to appeal to Central Govt. and to allow their targets for development to be met the development is allowed.

As usual, the arguements are not as simple as they are made out to be. Although developments can be bad for areas (towns *and* villages) for the reasons you state, if the Council's good they'll also bring in hefty contributions from the developer to leisure, transport etc. These are issues I deal with everyday as part of my job. Central Govt. make the decisions but we have to clean up the mess.

Again, consultation *is* a legal condition, if you feel strongly about an issue keep an eye on the local press and the Councils website, all consultations will soon need to be advertised on the internet. If you feel the Council in question hasn't done the procedure correctly (which includes clauses about consultation) you need to speak to these people: http://www.lgo.org.uk/ it is a legal requirement and there's no getting around the law. Of course any objection that is over emotional and not based on an evaluation of the facts is likley to be laughed at but would still have to be represented.

On the other hand Troddenmasses has a good point, and one that most 'we don't want the cars' brigade don't think about. Passing trade and the number of tourists are all that keep many of these areas alive - I remember doing a study on that for my degree! It was an issue then and will be an issue now. Although most of the studies into reducing the number of vehicles will consider this, it's not one the decision makers (the elected members) will take seriously, once again, whoever shouts loudest wins :(

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I've said it before

the only way to get the governments notice is to hint them where it hurts "in the pocket" by removing all vehicles, except public transport off the road.

No road tax. No fuel revenue. no vehicle sales nothing..................

overloading the woefully poor public tranportation service. Bring the country to it knees and kick the government in ther collective B******s

however this'll never happen due to the government making us to reliant on private cars for life

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(RANT ON)

to play devils advocate it wouldnt happen because this country is now full of wimps. Everyone moans but they do nothing......

cant take direct action because its naughty and I may get in trouble....

cant go and protest because its a day out of my holiday and it might be raining...

its not right but it doesnt really affect me so its not my problem...

why try we wont ever get anywhere......

the reality is the government/any government of this country can and will do whatever it likes safe in the knowledge that a 1% cut in income tax is enough coloured beads to fool everyone into returning them to power

(RANT OFF)

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