Friday, February 29, 2008

Don't believe the hype

It is a great track from Public Enemy, and also good advice, especially when it comes to the media coverage about the QE2 Bridge, which spans over the Thames in Dartford. You see when the QE2 bridge was first built, the local public were told that a toll fee for crossing it would be payable, this funding would be used to maintain the bridge and once the bridge had been paid for, future crossings would be free. So we all waiting and counted down the days, I like so many other people spent £500 a year on toll fees getting to and from work and the shops, but we were happy knowing that one day we'd enjoy the free bridge.

In 2003 it actually happened, well the paying off of the debt bit that is. The toll fees stayed, in fact the costs of such have gone up a few times since it began. So why isn't it free to use a bridge we already paid for? You'll have to ask the Government, who chose to continue getting cash from drivers or at least pay Le Crossing to do so on the Department of transport's behalf. But fear not, there is now a new idea to make the QE2 Bridge more environmentally friendly, a plan so simple an idiot could have come up with it and probably did. Ready, brace yourself they are going to...
Charge drivers £1.50 instead of £1.

But wait there is even better news if you are a moron, local residents will only be charged 40p per journey (20p each way), the catch is that they need to buy 50 journeys worth of credit at the start of each year (earning Le Crossing extra interest on £10 per resident). So the number of local people travelling across the bridge will go up and because of all this added congestion, we all sit in a longer queue pumping out fumes into Dartford & Thurrock and eating up more costly fuel, which adds to the income from fuel tax.

Hmmm perhaps they aren't so silly after all! If anyone with a bit of power and integrity is reading this, here's a better idea...
Make the crossing free to all and build a bridge that bicycles and walkers could use.
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