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Government Contemptuous of Public Opinion on Taxing Driving to Work
The Association of British Drivers has condemned government plans to tax parking spaces at work. Nottingham has already applied to introduce a 'Workplace Parking Levy' 1
with other cities set to follow suit.
ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries said:
"The government has repeatedly failed in its attempt to foist congestion charging on cities, firstly in Edinburgh 2, and last year in Manchester 3, it is now meeting strong opposition in Cambridge 4. Unable to tax drivers for driving to work, and not willing to let public opinion get in the way of their desire to tax drivers off the road, the government is now planning to impose the tax when they get to work."
Companies are also opposed to the charge which would see an administrative burden placed upon them, and place them at a disadvantage compared to companies in nearby towns and cities. Many Nottingham companies have threatened to quit the city if the tax is brought in. The British Chambers of Commerce has started a petition against the Nottingham Charge 5
which currently has over 6000 signatures.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory commented:
"Britain's 33 million drivers are sick of these endless attempts by the government to impose further taxes on hard working drivers which clearly fly in the face of democratic opinion, they are looking forward to the next general election when they can remind all political parties who think these taxes are a good idea that democracy bites back."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. Nottingham City Council say their parking 'levy' will start at £185 p.a. in 2010, but will rise to £350 p.a. by 2014.
A consultation by the council received 100 written responses with 83 against the parking levy, and 17 'neutral or supportive'. The council refused to split the neutral/supportive figure suggesting most of the 17 were probably neutral, and supporters were thus less than 10.
2. Edinburgh attempted to introduce congestion charging in 2005. In a postal ballot, 74% of residents rejected the proposal.
BBC — Edinburgh rejects congestion plan
3. Manchester City Council attempted to force drivers to pay to cross the M60. The scheme fell apart when other local councils withdrew support, forcing Manchester to hold a referendum in which 80% of people voted No! One of the leading Congestion Charge advocates, Cllr Roger Jones (Lab) subsequently suffered a humiliating defeat in local elections, gaining only 23.2% of the vote.
4. Public opposition to a congestion charge in Cambridge forced Cambridgeshire County Council to appoint a supposedly 'independent' transport commission, which has recommended that no congestion charge be introduced until at least 2017, and not until congestion has reached defined levels. However, this sounds like a ploy to trick the public into accepting congestion charging in the long term, without realizing they are doing so.
5. British Chambers of Commerce Petition
Notes for Editors about the ABD