Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his government are still trying to bribe local authorities to introduce ‘anti-car’ measures or loose out on public funding.
The latest threat comes after a spectacular rebuff to this anti-car stuff was made by the people of Manchester.
In the Greater Manchester area, councils were told last year that if they did not introduce road charging then they would miss out on millions of pounds from the so-called Transport Innovation Fund. The disclosure angered many MPs, including some of Brown’s supporters, who felt that local authorities, who know their areas best, should be able to make up their own minds on what road schemes are needed without these anti-car measures.
In this case, the bribe did not work and in the local referendum, voters clearly told Brown to ‘get stuffed’
Incredibly, despite this massive rebuff, the government are now trying to arm-twist Nottingham to introduce a ‘workplace parking levy’ in the city. It beggars belief that thiis is being done at a time when high street shops are closing at an alarming rate.
Not all outcomes are likely to be as good as the Manchester case, because in most instances the public are never asked for their views and weak local councillors, ecouraged by their money-grubbing officers, just go ahead and grab the money.
In the East Riding of Yorkshire a controversialPark and Ride scheme’ for the seaside town of Bridlington has been approved. Now, who has ever heard of tourists with their children and buckets and spades using a ‘Park ‘n’ Ride scheme whilst at the seaside? What this town needs is cheap in-town car parking.
Labour’s threats have angered Conservative Transport Spokesman Stephen Hammond who says that these bribes are unacceptable and if councillors think a scheme is wrong for their area, they should say so and reject the money.
Mr Hammond has promised that an incoming Conservative government would abandon the anti-car policy.
A further blow to the present Government’s anti-car policy comes in a report from Cambridge University which says that British Motorists are grossly over-taxed.