December 04, 2006

Road Pricing

Just a quick note on road pricing. All the main political parties support it in order to deal with various the externalities. Such as:

Congestion is worse for climate change as cars are less fuel efficient in traffic, even though this is already dealt with by fuel duty.

The particulate dirt that messes up buildings. Which can also be dealt with easily by fuel duty and most of which come from Diesel engines, as used by buses. The number of buses having to increase if the desire to get less cars is forfilled.

The externality of the frustration caused by being stuck in traffic. But is this really an externality? Does your being stuck in traffic really make no difference to you, just everybody else? No I didn't think so. The frustration of being stuck in traffic is already internalised, as you are just as stuck and frustrated as everybody else.

It should also be remembered that road pricing itself contains an undesirable side effect (particually under Labour's favoured scheme) of a giant database of everybodies current and past movements, an absolute boon to anybody who's polical goal seems to be setting the ground work for a police state. Ah ... now the reason becomes clear.


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