Monday, 23 August 2010


When the Conservatives won the election one of the first things that was announced was an end to the ‘war on motorists’.

So they promised a ‘fuel price stabilizer’ which would reduce tax when petrol went up, but ensure that the treasury, and not the motorist, profited from any small drop in the price of petrol and diesel at the pump.

There was to be no more money for speed cameras, although existing ones could be maintained by road safety partnerships (whatever they are). However, the Treasury would still take the money from the fines, thank you!

Clamping was to be a thing of the past in England as it has been for 20 or more years ago in Scotland.

Now Eric Pickles has told local councils in England that they must find new ways of raising revenue that cannot be blamed on the government. (Hum... Eric, is that not taxation by the back door... you know, stealth taxes that you have been criticising the last lot for?)

One of the schemes which is interesting councils (of all political shades), is another war on motorists.... a tax on parking at work. The Labour government gave councils in England the right to raise money by charging companies for their parking spaces. This has never been used..... Until now.

I hasten to remind everyone that this is an English matter, but ideas like this could travel to Edinburgh.

Many people rely on their cars to take them to work. In some cases people need to be various different places in the course of a day. Waiting for buses is not a sensible use of employees' time.

There are others who travel into towns for work. Life is hard enough without having to get up at 5 o'clock to get 2 or 3 buses. (Yes, I know folk travel from Brighton to London, but that is for salaries in the £100 and £200 thousand a year bracket. In Dundee they would have to do it for £10,000!) People drop their children
off at school, or at child minders, sometimes in the opposite direction from their workplace. They need their cars.

For others, I suppose, it is a matter of convenience, another half hour in bed; no ‘walk and wait’ in the pouring rain on a cold January morning; no sitting (or standing) next to a soap dodger, or someone who drank half a bottle of whisky last night, or who just hasn’t got a tooth brush.

No waiting for the bus that doesn't come or goes past the stop because it's full. No looking at your watch and thinking ...oh nooooo....

It’s another tax on companies, and one that many would be obliged to pass on to their employees. Probably all their employees, even the ones that do wait for buses.

Motorists already have so many expenses. Running a car is not for wimps, and the taxation for cars pays for a lot more than the roads system. I agree with the Tories. We need to end the war on motorists.... and this is not the way to do it.

PS... Does anyone know what MPs and Lords pay for the use of their exclusive car parking facilities at Westminster?


  1. What is that taste? Is that rotten, filthy double standards?

    No. I reject that. It is pragmatism. I was alwayws taught that pragmatism is unavoidable. If boardie told me one thing, only pragmatism is real. There is NO higher virtue.

  2. Nah Dean. It's politics. They all do it. Oppose things when they are in opposition and do them when the reality of governmnet hits them.


  3. Tris, I hate to tell you even though time passes quickly, but it's only since 1991 that clamping was banned here.

    Also I can remember back in the 70s when my HQ was in London, I had to pay for a visitors parking space which had to be reserved in advance. I couldn't even claim it back on expenses. :( The regular HQ employees paid an annual fee for parking.

    Even then we had stealth taxes but I do see where you're coming from.

  4. Tris

    Those stinking Torys love to stick things through the 'BACK DOOR' its what they learn at Eton.

    Dirty bastards

    and now the vile Lib Dems help hold people down whilst the Tory force their back door love on them...

    disgusting bastards.

  5. I agree with you Tris and we motorists do get a rough time. I use public transport in Edinburgh a lot because its very good where I live and at least 6 different buses go within 2 mins of my house and pass within seconds of my work.

    However I do like to take the car to work if I have other pursuits after work and to be honest trying to take one bus and connecting with another is like a lottery.

    Motorist's would be happy to use public transport if it were clean and efficient but we all know its far from that. Motorists are an easy target for tax increases because most of us do need a car and have no option but to pay extra taxes.

    What I would like the Gov to introduce is the Swedish model where if a motorists knocks down a pedestrian then the motorist is to blame.

    I know it sounds crazy but road deaths have fallen by 80% since it has been introduced. It does not mean if some idiot walks onto a motorway and gets killed then the motorist will be charged but what it does stop is idiotic drivers pushing the peddle down when someone walks across the road.

    How many times have we crossed a road and some idiot floors it as if to say get off the road. Bus drivers in Edinburgh are motorist for this. They see some idiot walking out in front of them but instead of slowing down they go faster and head right for them.

    I know if some walks out in front of me I get very pissed off with them but rather than just slam into them and kill them I just slow down and F and Blind at them.

    So I want to see less taxes on us motorists but also want to see more accountability for motorists.

  6. Mr Mxyzptlk

    Have you counted the amount of tax increases us Joe public had to endure under Labour?

    I counted them and it was a staggering 345,000 increases.

  7. Was that when you worked for the Womans Institute Subrosa - I see Tris has provided a picture of your works car park from those days. Which "parked" car is yours?

  8. LOL. I was out by a year... actually it was two years. It seems that it was banned in Scotland in 1992 ... From Wikipedia:

    "In Scotland, wheel-clamping on private land is illegal. It was banned by the case of Black v Carmichael 1992 SCCR 709, when wheel-clamping was found to constitute extortion and theft."

    Extortion and theft is against the law in Scotland it would appear... if not so in England.!!

    But 20 years was a fair guess....

    I didn't know that people were charged for parking before, but this is different. Apparently Blair's government said that councils could tax companies on the number of car parking spaces they provided.

    Some are suggesting that it will be as much as £250 per space per year.

    It's taxation by stealth... and I suspect that it was ever thus. We tend always to blame the present and previous government for all the ills of the world. I think we tend to forget, or maybe are too young to remember that previous governments were full of sneaky low life who stole from us and taxed us, and helped themselves to first class everything while we went without.

    There are more crooks than Blair and Thatcher in our political histories.

  9. Nah Billy its Foulkes back yard why do you think he needs 2 wages and troughs.

  10. Sheeesh Niko... you have a mind like a sink... you really do!!! :)

  11. Allan:

    We need a better public transport system, certainly in Dundee.

    A couple of years ago I was talking to a guy who had been working in Holland. He said that most people there use public transport to get to work because it is cheap, clean, efficient, integrated and reliable.

    He used to get the bus bang on 7.07 am outside his house, the train at 7.28 and arrived at his work at 7.48, just in time for a fag and coffee before starting work. In the 9 months or so he was never late, the bus and train were clean and the staff pleasant and it was far cheaper than taking the car. One season ticket dealt with train and bus and he could go anywhere inside Holland...

    If we had that kind of public transport....ahhhhhh

    I hadn’t heard about the Swedish model. I’m inclined to consider anything they do to be based on solid common sense.... so I bet it does work.

    Too many people drive like they were the only people on the roads. I had an old dear the other day stopped at a junction sorting her hat in the mirror and rolling back towards me.... BEEEEEEP

  12. Now now Billy... I'm sure Subrosa is a perfect driver... I gotta say that coz she drives down my way sometimes, and I'm not wanting to be run over!!!! ;-0

  13. CH... Don't members of the aristocacy have serfs for that sort of thing...

    Surely his Nob-ilityness, doesn't soil his blue blooded hands with anything as common as a vehicle, does he?

  14. Tris.

    Holland has a fantastic public transport system and its well integrated. Take Glasgow our biggest and most modern city. You cant even get a train from the north of the city to the south.

    Poor old dear and her hat but its all about priorities lol.

  15. Aye Allan... as my mum always says, if those who designed the public transport system had to actually use it, it would be a sight better designed....

    That's our trouble. The person in Dundee overall in charge of transport has probably never been on a bus since he was 17.

    I think too that transport needs to be run as a service and not as a business. Dundee buses are run from Birmingham, by people who have never been in Dundee, never mind on one of our buses and whose only objective is to make a profit.

    And there's no competition. All this nonsense about privatization would bring competition and cheaper fares were a pile of pants. You get their buses do the other thing. The prices have gone up so much that I would me MAD to go into town on a bus. It’s FAR cheaper in the car. I could go in and out of the town 9 times (that’s a calculated figure, not a wild guess) for what it costs me on the bus! And I have to walk for 5 minutes before I get on a bus.....


  16. PS Allan... It was a bonny hat, I'll admit that much........

  17. Mr Whatever,

    You are simply vile. A vile human being.

  18. Dean.

    He's not. He's just a rude one with a fixation about Eton and buggery!.... and of course he's Labour... but that doesn't make him vile.

    Rise above his insults.

    Be the bigger man!