Category Archives: Transport

The backstory behind the war on cars in the UK


On May 20th, 2019, I gave a talk to the Libertarian Alliance about the damaging political policies being imposed on car drivers in the UK, and the history behind them. Normally, these talks are recorded on video. But on this occasion, an unfortunate combination of circumstances prevented a recording. As this subject is a topical one – and becoming more so by the day – I thought it appropriate to create a “transcript” of the talk, re-constructed from my notes.

Introduction

On April 8th, 2019, London mayor Sadiq Khan’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) went live in the Congestion Charge area in central London. It now costs the driver £12.50 a day, on top of the congestion charge, to drive in this zone a diesel car built before September 2015, or a petrol car built before 2006. This is an outrageous amount; and it also has to be paid at week-ends! This scheme is planned to be extended to all of the area inside North and South Circular Roads in October 2021. And after that, who knows?

Beyond this, there is talk of charging drivers of diesel cars to enter any of 35 or so cities around the UK. Some cities, like Southampton, have decided not to do this. Others, like Birmingham, are pressing on. Meanwhile, on May 9th the Times began a campaign claiming that “air pollution on the streets is poisoning 2.6 million schoolchildren,” and that this is due to “clogged roads”.

And yet, a recent (May 2nd) Sky News poll showed that more than 50 per cent of a random sample of people in the UK were “unwilling to significantly reduce the amount they drive, fly and eat meat,” either to combat climate change or to protect the environment in a more general sense. This is evidence of a huge disconnect between the political classes and the people!

There is a long backstory behind all this, which not many people seem to be aware of. In the last two years, I’ve managed to pull a lot of this backstory together. So, tonight I’ll bring it out into the open for you. In the process, I’ll identify what I call the Ten Deadly Dishonesties. These are attitudes and ploys that anti-car and other green campaigners have used, many of them more than once, in the course of their political machinations. Read more

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Godfrey Bloom: Brexit, Driverless Cars, and Removing Philip Hammond’s Revolving Credit Card


This morning, on the Jonathan Cowap show on BBC Radio York, our Honorary President Godfrey Bloom was involved in an opinion panel discussing topics ranging over marriage, Brexit, driverless cars, social care, and the credit card industry. The discussion was spread over several interview sessions. He was paired with Abigail Scott Paul of the Joseph Rowntree foundation.

If you would like to listen to the various elements of the opinion panel, please click on the different audio links below:

Marriage and Brexit:

Driverless Cars and Social Care:

Dog Ownership and Credit Limits for Individuals and the UK State:

 

The Social Costs of Air Pollution from Cars in the UK


By Neil Lock

(Author’s Note. This is an updated and re-written version of my earlier paper “Diesel Fumes” on the same subject).

Back in April the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, introduced from the coming October a £10 a day “toxicity charge” for pre 2006 cars, both petrol and diesel, entering the current London congestion charge zone. He also set out plans for a London “Ultra Low Emissions Zone” (ULEZ) [1]. From April 2019 (brought forward from September 2020), it will cost £12.50 per day to drive in this zone a diesel car first registered before September 2015, or a petrol car built before 2006. Furthermore, he plans to extend this zone to the area inside the North and South Circular roads by 2021.

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Diesel fumes: Is the UK’s witch-hunt against diesel cars driven by zealotry and greed, not science?


(Author’s Note: This paper is an example of a relatively new phenomenon; “citizen science.” And citizen science deserves citizen peer review. I would, therefore, greatly appreciate review of this paper by those with the skills to do so; whether or not they live in the UK, or drive diesel cars. Thank you.)

The recent uproar over “toxin taxes” on diesel cars in the UK raises many questions. So, in this (long) essay, I’m going to try to get a handle on how big the cost of pollution from diesel cars really is, and whether the schemes being proposed to ameliorate it are sensible or not. To do that, I’ll try to estimate the so-called “social cost” of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel cars of different ages in the UK, in pounds per car per year.

If my calculations are right, there is some justification for central London pollution charges for diesel cars built before 2006; for, as I work it out, the social cost of the pollution from these cars is almost £300 per car per year. However, the further schemes in London and countrywide, that are planned to start as early as 2019, are out of all proportion to the reality of the problem. They will cost 8 million or so drivers of diesel cars, first registered between January 2006 and August 2015, orders of magnitude more than the social cost of the pollution their cars emit. Worse, these drivers – including me – may be forced to scrap our cars well before the end of their designed lives. Is this not grossly unjust?

According to my calculations, for a diesel car first registered between September 2010 and August 2015, like mine, the London ULEZ entry fees from 2019 for just two days in a year will be almost as much as the social cost of pollution from that car for the whole year, in comparison to a new (since September 2015) car, which won’t be charged at all. That is both unreasonable and unfair. Indeed, for both these cars and those first registered between 2006 and 2010, it would be far better and easier to collect the social cost of pollution through the yearly licence fee.

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Kick Anti-Racism out of Football!


D J Webb

I’m personally sick of football being used to promote the politics of racial and national dispossession.

Football fans should not be subject to political propaganda of any type. There should be no link between attending a football match and espousing right-on views on racial relations.

UEFA and any other football association should have no policies on race and racism, and no footballer should be investigated by kangaroo courts held to establish his political views.

I should add that I regard football as a low-brow interest, and I’m not a supporter of any team, and I know nothing about the off-side rule. My only focus in this article is on the _politicisation of football_. Read more

Libertarian Road Safety


by Daniel Harding

In this post, I’m going to discuss how private roads can be made safe for drivers, motorcyclists, and other road users. First of all, when I say ‘road safety’ here, I mean the use of rules to determine how someone travelling on a road should use it to avoid as much danger as is possible. Now even for a die-hard libertarian who hates the state, it must be admitted that roads need to have some rules applied to them; speed rules in particular. How then do we achieve this without each private road applying rules to the property in a subjective manner that leads to confusion and chaos?

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Why Not Demand Less Taxi Regulation, Not More?


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/JF6fKQ4hLEk/why-not-demand-less-taxi-regulation-not.html

Why Not Demand Less Taxi Regulation, Not More? Yes, this is one of DP’s occasional transport geekery posts, so look away now if it’s not your bag.

Being in transport myself, I just couldn’t let the recent palaver surrounding Uber pass without comment as I’ve found it extremely interesting in the past few months. My transport news sources have been mentioning this growing dispute for a while now, and it’s come up in Transport for London email bulletins too, but with London Taxi drivers planning a hissy fit on Wednesday, the BBC – especially – has gone to town on the story this week. Read more

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