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July 2011 NEWS


Sunday 31 July 2011

britain" Tory MP who said that untolled roads "represent the last gasp of "socialism"" is a "rising star"
  • Observer - "Kwasi Kwarteng: The rising star of politics and letters".

    britain" More on the robbery at Dartford
  • BBC - "Dartford Crossing fee suspension trial under fire".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - Cal. - "San Diego County regional government to buy bankrupt toll road"   "Illinois tollway fixes needed, but at what cost?"   Ohio - "Turnpike eyed as a cash cow".

    newzealand Increase in fee for paying tolls
  • NZ Herald - "New Northern Gateway charges start tomorrow".


    Saturday 30 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • The President has decreed that cars will be 100 per cent more fuel efficient by 2025 - NY Times - "Carmakers Back Strict New Rules for Gas Mileage".
    A good aim, but by itself this would reduce tax revenues and also encourage more wasteful use of fuel (by driving more miles and driving more aggresively). So it only makes sense if there is to be a more than 100 per cent increase in Federal and State gas taxes. We suspect that instead, drivers will see the saving in gas costs more than swallowed up in payments to the trolls which will do nothing directly to encourage fuel economy.

  • The toll that went into Chapter 11 protection in March last year, and was then taken over by the creditors, is to be bailed out - 10News - "Public Agency Could Take Over SR-125 Toll Road" video   SignOn SanDiego - "SANDAG set to take over South Bay Expressway".
    The suggestion that tolls might be removed is barely credible, though SANDAG has done that once before.

  • Sundry stories - Georgia - "Many of our readers are strongly opposed to more toll roads"   Virginia - "Route 460 advances"   Land line Mag - "Private companies set to bid on U.S. 460 toll road in Virginia"   DC / Va. - "The Dulles Metro station isn't the problem. The Toll Road increases are.".
    La. - "Task force reviewing Crescent City Connection tolls holds first meeting"   Florida - "Can the Wekiva Parkway be finished without new tolls?" video   Illinois - "Where do tolls really go?".

    britain" "Leave the tax"
  • Dartford Messenger - "Axe the Tax: The Messenger launches campaign against toll increases".
    Despite being called "Axe the Tax", the petition calls for very little. A sign of how weak the people are compared with the trolls at the DfT.

    britain" Cyclists protest
  • Demotix - "Cyclists bring traffic to a standstill on Blackfriars Bridge - London".
    One reason that cyclists are usually treated like pampered royalty, while drivers are treated like plebian dirt, is that the cyclists are not afraid to get on their bikes and demonstrate.

    nigeria Nigerian Road trouble
  • Daily Times - "Senators probe Bi-Courtney's handling of Lagos-Ibadan road".


    Friday 29 July 2011

    singapore On the "money-making machine"
  • ZD - "Don't count on tech as fallback".
    The Singapore toll system seems to have no effect on the amount of traffic. It probably has a slight effect on which roads that traffic uses and an even slighter effect on the time, but if the system was scrapped no one would notice the difference.

    usa USA Roundup
  • Eyewitness News (NY) - "Seneca Nation Seeks President Obama's Help on Thruway".

  • WWL - "Tolls could end on Crescent City Connection".
    The chances of a tolls system being removed in what has been described as America's most corrupt state must be something less than nil.

  • Sundry stories - Cal. - "Editorial: The wrong fix"   Florida - "Jacobs to expressway board: No more toll hikes"   DC / Va. - "Can the Dulles Corridor sustain tolls of $21.50 in 2020?"   DC / Va. - "A major disconnect between authority, accountability".
    Illinois - "State seeks big increase in tolls"   Illinois - "Quinn won't say if he supports major toll increase" comments   Maryland - "Hearings make officials reconsider tolls" video   Florida - "Former law enforcement officer refuses to pay tolls".

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • The Government want to "reform" taxes and have just issued a "discussion" doc which includes bringing in a complex system of "road pricing" for trucks - Government - "Tax Reform: Next Steps for Australia" pdf. Reports include - Daily Telegraph - "Wayne Swan wants backing on congestion tax, and an end to property stamp duty"     ATN - "Government should split the bill on road pricing reform: Hensher" lot of comments   The Australian - "Swan puts congestion tax on agenda for summit" lot of comments.
    The response from the truckers is that they want a fuel based tax - Transport & Logistics News- "Truckers want fuel-based charging".
    A sensible idea from the truckers, so there is no chance of the politicians accepting it. We nearly said that this was despite the greens (who you might think would want to encourage less vehicle emissions) dominating the Government, but the greens are as keen as the trolls for tolls to replace fuel taxes.

    south South Africa's other new tolls
  • News24 - "Concerns mount over Wild Coast toll road".

    canada usa Toll the border
  • BC Local - "Road-tolling tolerance" letter.

    portugal "Tolls - the final battle"
  • Portugal NewsOnline.

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • A bit more on plan to toll trucks - ATN - "Trucking snubbed as Swan puts road taxes on the agenda".

    newzealand Kiwii trolls kiosk goes up in smoke
  • Voxy - "Damage to kiosk restricts toll road service".

    norway From the land of "the most advanced systems of road tolls in the world"
  • Telegraph - "Oslo attack: killer parked car bomb at door of PM's office".

    britain" Latest National Travel Survey
  • Yesterday the latest annual survey was published - DfT - "National Travel Survey 2010" links to sundry data.
    As we have pointed out before the figures have been fiddled in recent years, so that a comparison with figures from some years ago will be distorted.
    The time spent travelling per person in 2010 was about one hour a day, it has been at this level for many years. The figures indicate that the average trip length has been fairly steady, but that there is a slight downward trend in the number of trips taken by each person, so that the average distance travelled over 15 years has fallen from about 7,000 miles to 6,700 miles. Over the same period there has also been a switch to public transport which has gone up by 200 miles while the use of cars and walking has gone down by 500 miles a year. The share of travel by public transport is still low having gone up from 12 per cent to 16 percent over the 15 years.


    Thursday 28 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • More from the trolls arguing for tolls - "a cornerstone of economic growth while also maximizing efficiency and providing environmental benefits", instead of a gas tax increase - Governing - "For Whom the Road Tolls".
    Is there anyone who believes any of this nonsense?
    Here's a couple of sceptics - Gas2 - "Lawyers Suggest More Tolls Rather Than Raising the Gas Tax"   Las Vegas Review-Journal - "Now the gasoline tax isn't enough".

  • Private roads are best - - Daily American (Pa.) - "It makes sense to privatize Route 219".

  • Bit more etolls "fun" - Denver Channel - "E-470 Billing Nightmare Leaves Driver Fighting Mad" video.

  • Sundry stories - Illinois - "Agency seeks toll hikes to pay for $12 billion in projects"   Maryland - "State won't back off on Susquehanna bridges tolls, Harford legislator says"   Pa. - "Prepare to pay more on the Turnpike"   DC/Va. - "Lawmaker: Dulles Rail Could Hurt Business More Than Help It"   NY - "Ravitch: Toll the Bridges Already".

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • The Government want to "reform" taxes and have just issued a "discussion" doc which includes bringing in a complex system of "road pricing" for trucks - Government - "Tax Reform: Next Steps for Australia" pdf. Reports include - Daily Telegraph - "Wayne Swan wants backing on congestion tax, and an end to property stamp duty"     ATN - "Government should split the bill on road pricing reform: Hensher" lot of comments   The Australian - "Swan puts congestion tax on agenda for summit" lot of comments.
    The response from the truckers is that they want a fuel based tax - Transport & Logistics News- "Truckers want fuel-based charging".
    A sensible idea from the truckers, so there is no chance of the politicians accepting it. We nearly said that this was despite the greens (who you might think would want to encourage less vehicle emissions) dominating the Government, but the greens are as keen as the trolls for tolls to replace fuel taxes.

    south South Africa's other new tolls
  • News24 - "Concerns mount over Wild Coast toll road".

    ireland Truckers reaction to latest toll plans
  • Galway Advertiser - "Additional tolls will erode competitiveness".


    Wednesday 27 July 2011

    south Bit more on the new tolls
  • iAfrica - "Busa questions e-tolls".

    china Gaol of up to ten years for evading tolls
  • Shanghai Daily - "Toll and tax evaders face jail terms".
    Many, and arguably all, of the tolls are illegal. But in China as in many other countries, it is the powerful who decide which laws are applied.

    usa USA Roundup
  • The trolls arguing for a "Federal Interstate User Fee" i.e. tolls instead of a gas tax increase Infrastructurist - "Two Alternatives to the Gas Tax". And here arguing for "Regional Mobility Corporations" i.e toll companies - Milford Daily News - "Another way to fund roadways".

  • Orlando Sentinel - "Shaky bonds could cost toll agency $50M".

  • A bit of unofficial theft in New Jersey - Courier-Post - "Former Camco toll collectors admit theft"   nj.com - "G2 NJ Turnpike toll collectors plead guilty to stealing over $10K through fake toll tickets" comments.

  • Examiner - "Indiana toll road losses: A lesson for Ohio Gov. Kasich's turnpike lease plan?".

  • Big chief Toll Tout in Ohio - Toledo Blade - "Turnpike plan touted by Kasich in Toledo".

  • Sundry stories - Maryland - "Work yes, tolls no"   Maryland - "State to reconsider Bay Bridge toll hikes"   Maryland - "EDITORIAL: Toll relief fight far from over"   "Truckers urge Md. officials to forget tolls hike".

    "Bridging funding for Columbia River Crossing"   Illinois - "Proposed tollway could get motorists to O'Hare, but not inside"   Cal. - "Express Carpool Lane to Continue into Redwood City"   NJ / Pa. - "Study to decide future management of Scudder Falls Bridge".

    britain" More on the robbery at Dartford
  • On the 21st we reported that the Highways Agency had said that a ten mile queue at the Dartford tolls was not congestion. They have now said that 12 miles is - Southend Star - "Dartford tolls to be lifted when jams hit 12 miles!".
    12 miles is only ten percent of the length of the M25, why didn't the anti-roads Ministers and the trolls go for the whole 117 miles!
    The mystery is why British drivers are so weak that they ever vote for any of the three main parties who's aim seems to be to take the largest amount for providing the littlest road space.

    ireland Bit more on latest plans of the Irish trolls
  • Dundalk Democrat - "Toll idea not thought out, insists Malonel"   Herald - "Angry TDs ready to revolt over M50 multi-point tolls".

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • From "sir name withheld" - Mosman Daily - "Environmentally simple".
    The "simple" thing may be the people who complain about pollution and then instead of proposing better engines or higher fuel taxes, they want taxes that are not related to the amount of exhaust gases.

    taiwan Complaint that Taiwan Government has done nothing on pledge to remove tolls
  • Taipei Times - "Ma Ying-jeou under fire for not keeping campaign promises".

    britain" A mistake?
  • BBC - "Hindhead Tunnel under Devil's Punch Bowl to be opened".
    The Transport Secretary and his anti-roads ministers will be having a bad day today. A new road opening and no tolls on it!
    And 371 million spent! It will take them about two days to recover it from motoring taxes.
    Even worse, perhaps some may wonder why a one mile tunnel going under a hill is paid for out of taxes, but if it had gone under a river then there would have been a band of robbers at the entrance stopping drivers and demanding money from them.


    Monday 25 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Cynical view - LA Times - "L.A. Carmageddon one week later: Was all that really necessary?".

  • Sundry stories - NY - "Port Authority looks to recover E-ZPass money from Staten Island woman, company".


    Sunday 24 July 2011

    brazil Brazilian No tolls group
  • Another group opposed to tolls - "POPULAR FORUM AGAINST TOLLS" (Google translation from Portugese).
    Until recently Brazil, which covers just over twice the area of the European Union, had few tolls, but various companies now have a stanglehold, with drivers having little choice.

    usa USA Roundup
  • Hometown annapolis (Maryland) - "They're just 'a group of citizens'".

  • Georgia - "Toll lanes: Do they only benefit wealthy drivers?" video.

  • Sundry stories - Virginia - "Study: Most drivers would stomach $1.50 tunnel tolls"   Maine - "Turnpike authority board under scrutiny, too, after director accused of financial impropriety" lot of comments.

    thailand germany The plane stalled by tolls dispute
  • Bangkok Post - "How the turbulence began".

    phillipines Development in long saga of VAT on Phillipines tolls
  • Inquirer - "Palace to study VAT on toll".

    greece Greek threat
  • Taxi drivers have been taking part in various actions including raising of toll barriers so that all drivers could avoid paying the tolls. The Government procecutors have now threatened the drivers that their licences will be taken away.


    Friday 22 July 2011

    britain" Congestion stats, not yet
  • On 7 June we reported that the DfT had issued their latest Congestion stats and then almost immediately withdrawn them as they had found mistakes. Looking on the DfT website today - "Road congestion statistics" it seems that they have issued nothing further. Is this because the DfT have no longer got any staff or because the politicians don't like the results?

    australia Sign that Oz does have some men?
  • Two years back, it seemed that the only Australian who wasn't meekly handing over the tolls was a woman who the authorities were going to lock up. There are now a lot more drivers who are rebelling. Surely they aren't all women!   - Courier-Mail - "Motorway toll evasion a $7m headache".

    ireland Bit more on latest plans from Irish trolls
  • Herald - "Editorial: M50 toll plans will hit us all"   Herald - "This crazy M50 plan won't just cost us all more, it'll be an infrastructural nightmare"   Herald - "We'll have to put up prices if there are more tolls - Ikea".
    The Irish Government has just received more EU help, in effect allowing them to quietly default on loans by cutting the interest owed to borrowers and delaying repayment. As all the countries receiving help have had to introduce tolls on previously untolled roads, perhaps this is a reward from the EU and Britain. (The Irish Government claims that there isn't a default - Inside Ireland - "Irish default claims 'irresponsible' - Creighton".)

    usa USA Roundup
  • More on ballot to kerb the Trolls - Pa. - "Is increasing tolls for cash-paying turnpike customers a good incentive to get an E-ZPass?"   Texas - "Proposed NTTA fee changes will hit the wrong violators hardest ".

  • Sundry stories - "Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission increases tolls by 10 percent for motorists without E-ZPass"   Pa. - "Another wallop to motorists".
    "Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission increases tolls by 10 percent for motorists without E-ZPass "   Pa. - "Another wallop to motorists"   Maryland - "Chesapeake Bay Bridge Toll Hike Plan Blasted"   Columbia River Crossing - "Ore.-Wash. bridge project overestimated toll money"   DC / Va. - "Wolf joins Loudoun officials in support of distance tolling".

    britain" Trolls Foundation on the scarcity of electric sheep
  • RAC Foundation - "Green car grant stalling?".

    south Another attack on the Government's new tolls
  • IoL - "Union threatens to strike over tolls" comments   Politics Web - "We will dismantle these e-tolling monsters - SATAWU".

    poland Report on new lorry tolls in Poland
  • roadtransport.com - "Polish viaToll road toll system for trucks and buses".

    portugal spain Claim that new tolls have hit the economy by 20 per cent
  • Portugal NewsOnline - "Tolls in the north come at huge cost to local economy".

    hungary europe Some Hungarians oppose the Con decreed by EU
  • Caboodle - "Nationalist party criticises planned congestion charge in Budapest".

    britain" Durham does a London
  • Sunderland Echo - "Congestion charge cameras will spy on Durham drivers".
    The Durham Con or "road user charge" was Britain's first starting on 1st October 2002, though it only applies to one street. The old system was based on rising bollards which wrecked hundreds of cars, many belonging to disabled people who are exempt from the charge. Recently the system has been switched off and has been replaced with ANPR cameras - Durham Council. Currently there is no charge payable, but the two pounds becomes payable again from 29th August.

    japan Sorry
  • The Japanese Government has made an apology for ever promising to do away with the tolls system. It is not clear whether the apology is for making a promise that it is not keeping or whether it is for having the cheek to try and challenge the corrupt system.

    bangladesh No money to build new toll road in Dhaka
  • Financial Express - "Elevated Expressway faces doom as foreign contractor fails to raise fund".


    Thursday 21 July 2011

    britain" Highways Agency say that a ten mile queue at the Dartford tolls is not congestion
  • Kent News - "Dartford toll chiefs deny broken promises over congestion".
    The mystery is why the Goverment bothered to lie about their intentions, when they could have either said nothing or made a claim that could not be checked.

    usa USA Roundup
  • Tolls to be paid for new bridge before its built - NWCN - "Tolls possible on Interstate Bridge in 3 year".
    Tolling reduces effective capacity, even with etolling. So are they really going to deliberately increase congestion and drive people and businesses away?

  • Land Line Mag - "Toll talk continues at statehouses".

  • On the recent troll agitation to get tolls back on the East River - Huffington Post - "Four Wheels Bad"   Gothamist - "Activists Demand Tolls Return To East River Bridges".

  • Sundry stories - Washington State - "Tacoma Narrows Bridge tolls won't be raised for another year"   Pa. - "Free rides for Turnpike employees"   NH - "Police seek info after Hampton tolls pileup"   Columbia River Crossing - "Wheeler report casts doubt on Columbia bridge funding".
    Ga. "Toll lanes coming to I-75, 575"   Washington State - "WSDOT: Toll drivers on I-5 express lanes" video   Florida - "Toll lanes on I-4? Rep. Mica now supports them"   Maryland - "Proposed Bay Bridge toll hikes find few friends at hearing"   Illinois - "Is There a Toll Hike Ahead?"   DC - "LaHood puts lipstick on Dulles Rail pig".

    south South Africans are too stupid to understand costs of collecting the new tolls
  • IoL - "'South Africans won't understand'".
    This is the comment from "Elayne"- "Taxes and Open Road Toll Fees People should not install the transponders but still use the highways and force the government to issue accounts and summonses to all motorists until such time they drop the prices. The government will be forced to send out millions of accounts every month and they don't have the manpower to do it. This is the best and easiest way to boycott the system.

    What is the government going to do about motorists from other neighbouring countries that don't have these transponders?
    South Africans are too complacent and its time we fight back. WE have paid for these roads. Now they are also proposing a 1% tax to fund the SABC. Circulate this to all your friends!!!!!!!!

    Has anyone thought just how much tax we are already paying? a. 35% on your salary b.14% on everything you buy (bar fresh produce) and services rendered. c. Carbon tax if you buy a new car (besides the 14% VAT you have to pay) d. Tax on the fuel you put in your car to run it. e. Toll on our roads - and for some it is going to come to a whopper of 10% of your salary (If you earn R10 000.00 a R1 000 would go toward tolling if you migrate between PTA and JHB every day.)

    - Bully to try and pacify me with the idea that I can claim it back from my income tax!!! I have to fork out the money first.
    Going on holiday to DBN? Remember to save up your R1000.00 for tolling. To say the least - For every R10.00 you earn, the government is already taking approx R6.00 and still they want more. Are you happy with the R4.00 you are getting? NICE!!!!!

    When are we going to get up and do something about it? Where is all the money going to? It is definitely not being spent on what it should be - our hospitals are in a state of disrepair, our schools in shambles, our roads full of potholes, our water contaminated, sewers not working, left in the dark because Eskom failed to do their upgrades, the poor are poorer still, municipalities on the brink of collapse, and so the list goes on.
    Heard about the youth day celebration that cost R100 million? Mmmm... did you pay for it? Oh yes sirmadam you did! R100 million that could have paid for a couple of things our country needed more.

    And to put the numbers in perspective: The next time you hear an SA politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you wanted the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money. A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its press releases: A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959. B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive. C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age. D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet. E. A billion Rand ago was only 27 hours and 12 minutes at the rate our SA government is spending it.
    Building Permit Tax Cigarette Tax Corporation Tax Income Tax Value Added Tax Fishing Licence Tax Food Licence Tax Fuel LicenceTax PetrolDiesel Tax Hunting Licence Tax Luxury Tax Property Tax Service charge taxes Capital gains Tax Social Security Tax Securities Transfer Tax Road Usage Tax Local Tax Vehicle Licence Registration Tax Vehicle Sales Tax Worker's Compensation Tax STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
    Hardly any of these taxes existed 20 years ago... And our nation was one of the most prosperous in Africa. We had absolutely no national debt... We had the largest middle class in Africa and Mum stayed home to raise the kids. What the HELL happened ?

    ANSWER : Look at the Government.....and who is 'running' the country.... INTO THE GROUND - on YOUR and MY 'billions'!!! AND ADDED TO THIS IS STILL NOT ALL THE MONEY THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS MAKING OUT OF OUR HIGH CRIME (ALL THE VAT THAT THEY EARN FROM CRIME RELATED COSTS)"

  • More opposition - Business Report - "Satawu: Scrap e-tolling system".

    ireland More on more tolls
  • Irish Times - "Further road tolls under discussion but would take years to put in place"   Herald - "The new M50 tolls will be yet another 'Dublin tax' -- so don't do it, Leo"   Herald - "Angry commuters demand minister scraps tolls plan".

    m6toll Latest M6 Traffic figure
  • The last quarter had traffic up 3 per cent on the January to March quarter, but allowing for seasonal variations it was one of the worst quarters ever. Traffic was down 13 per cent on the equivalent quarter of 2010, and income was down 9.8 per cent. The Company's statement to the Australian Stock Market blames this on the UK economy and petrol prices, it also refers to the impact of hard shoulder running on part of the old M6. More details on our M6 traffic page.


    Wednesday 20 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Chasing some of the loose change - Portland Press-Journal - "Suit seeks $450,000 from Violette over Maine Turnpike spending".

  • Trolls band together - Seattle Times - "Coalition forms to fight Eyman tolling initiative"   newspaper.com - "Initiative Measure Targets Toll Roads".

  • The Courts again support the trolls by ruling that details of a tolls perk remains a secret - Patriot News - "State court blocks Patriot-News' access to E-ZPass records".

  • Sundry stories - Washington State - "Backlog of Narrows toll charges hits drivers"   NH - "2 hurt in 6-vehicle pileup at Hampton tolls"   Pa. - "Rt. 422 tolls would tax drivers to fund mass transit" letter   Pa. - "Route 422 toll plan passes its first test" comments.
    "Traffic estimates on Columbia River Crossing further muddy the financial picture"   Georgia - "Approval given for $968 million toll road project on I-75 north of Atlanta"   Maryland - "Has anyone estimated real cost of higher tolls?".

    south Tolls are good for you
  • news24 - "Sanral: Tolls roads will benefit drivers" comments.
    Other stories - Engineering news - "Affordability, economic fallout remain key toll-road concerns" comments   Times Live - "No funny business on toll tenders: Alli".

    china Reducing toll on congested road
  • Economic Observer - "Gridlock On Profitable Expressway".
    The logic is presumably that if the road is crowded then the tolls should be reduced to reflect the deterioration, though trolls usely argue that the tolls should be increased to deter poorer drivers and thus reduce congestion. But it would make most sense to remove the bottleneck of the tolls altogether.

    ireland More on the latest toll proposal
  • Irish Trucker - "IRHA express concerns over proposed tolls".

    japan Queues for no tolls
  • Daily Yomiuri - "Traffic backs up on Tohoku expwys".
    When Japan has had toll concessions - even where tolls were "removed" - the toll booths and collectors remain. If Japanese corruption was not preventing the freeing up of the roads, then there would be no toll booths and no queuing and a lot less imported fuel wasted and less emissions.

    london Priorities
  • While Quaint Old England was getting tough with a couple of Yanks at the Home Affairs Select Committee, the American news media also reported on Boris versus Barack - Fox - "London Mayor Fines Obama for Not Paying 'Congestion Charge'" some comments   NY Post - "London imposes fine on President Obama's motorcade for refusal to pay traffic congestion charge" lot of comments.

    On Monday, we had the latest of the regular surveys by You Gov (pdf) this one apparently done for the Sun. According to the survey only 18 per cent of people said that the PM had the quality of being honest, the Leader of the Opposition had the same rating and the Deputy PM got even less - 13 per cent.
    Other questions included whether it was right for us to take part in "military action in Libya". Opinion was split down the middle, but the greatest support was from Lib Dem or Tory men aged under 24 from the ABC1 group and living in Scotland. The least support was from Labour women aged over 60 from the working classes in the North of England. So it looks as if the Army should be trying to recruit a few more right wing or green Highlanders!

    europe EU sets up another scam
  • BBC - "EU Commission tightens rules for biofuel use".
    This scheme is so that biofuels will contine to be used, despite many people thinking that their production does more harm tham good. The certificates will be worthless, but someone is bound to make money out of them.


    Tuesday 19 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Though the Government is bust, LaHood provides Federal money to make sure that toll road goes ahead - BizJournals - "Georgia lands federal loan for I-75 toll project"   Atlanta Journal-Constitition - "Toll project to go to bidding, not sure when".

  • Sunbreak (Washington State) - "Why Don't We Tell People Not to Drive All The Time?".

  • It takes all sorts - Jaunted - "The Top Ten US Toll Bridges Worth the Money".

  • Bit more on "Carmageddon" - LA Times - "Carmageddon's lessons".

  • DNA Info - "Transportation Buffs to Install Tollbooth on Williamsburg Bridge".
    The "NYC Bridge Centennial Commission" moan that if the bridges had been tolled then "about $31 billion" would have been collected. They seem to think that this is manna from heaven extracted without any pain and without any cost of collecting it.

  • Another editor who thinks that tolls are wonderful and that "it will be nice to see the tolls being collected in a more-efficient manner" - Daily Comet (La.) - "A good first step for toll system".

  • Sundry stories - NJ - "Maine Turnpike Authority to sue former director over his spending"   NJ - "Funding Failed, Tolls Imposed To Pay for Garden State Parkway" (history)   NY - "Calls Renewed For Tolls On East River Bridges".
    Texas - "Editorial: NTTA needs a new strategy for tollway scofflaws"   Texas - "183A toll violators could face charges" video   Illinois - "Drivers may foot $1B tollway budget gap"   "Pa. gov panel sees mix to fund highways, bridges".

    south Bit more on the new tolls
  • Post - "Fedusa to join Cosatu strike over tolls"   ITWeb - "Cosatu rejects e-toll reductions".

    london Priorities
  • You would have thought that Boris had his hands full with the Police, but he still has time to issue a Con fine to the US President, even though the Mayor knows that the charge is illegal - Mail - "Cough up! Obama's London convoy among foreign drivers that owe 50m in unpaid London congestion charges"   Evening Standard - "Barack Obama convoy fined over congestion charge".

    britain" More on Robber chief speaks on the Humber tolls
  • Yesterday we had the Transport Secretary boasting how he was saving drivers money through low interest rates on Humber debt, today there is a report of one of his anti-car Ministers also boasting about the bargain low rate of 4.25 per cent - Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Ministers hail reduction in interest rate paid on Humber Bridge".

    ireland Irish trolls on the rampage again
  • Independent - "State to extract heavy toll from struggling motorists"   Herald - "Stop treating motorists as a cash cow"   Herald - "New M50 toll nightmare - HIKE: No escape as drivers stare at further charges"   Herald - "Editorial: Toll charge would be a fee too far".
    Belfast Telegraph - "Toll booth levy to be imposed on all motorways in Republic of Ireland"   RTE - "NRA plays down reports of new tolls"   Irish Times - "Road traffic shortfall may lead to more tolls"   Irish Examiner - "Drivers face eight new tolls in bid to raise cash".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • More on Golden Ears bridge - Langley Advance - "Tolling troubles".

  • More from Toronto trolls - Global Post - ""War on the car" not dead yet in Toronto".

  • And the BC trolls who want the joy / pain to be spread - BCLocal - "Increased toll not good for business"   Vancouver Courier - "Mayor Robertson's wild 'green' plan will cripple Vancouver".

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • More on Sydney tolls going "cashless". The Minister also says that somethinhg will be done about unfair tolls, but this is as unlikely as a British Roads Ministers doing anything other than take more money - ABC - "Sydney road tolls 'unfair'"   Standard - "M2 goes cashless as minister flags more changes for toll roads and bridge"   Telegraph - "Peak-hour tolls on the Harbour Bridge and Tunnel could be scrapped".


    Monday 18 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Another editor telling his readers how lucky they are to pay tolls - Delmarva - "Toll hike is reasonable".
    The publisher, Gannett, is actually the biggest publisher in the US. People in Britain who think that Rupert Murdoch owns everything might be surprised to learn that Gannett also own over 300 local papers in Britain, mainly through - Newsquest.

  • Gas tax helping to pay for loss making toll roads - Statesman - "Central Texas toll roads need more state subsidies than expected".

  • Sundry stories - Washington State - "Tunnel foes, backers see high stakes in Aug. 16 vote"   Texas - "Top 10 scofflaws owe NTTA more than $1.2 million in unpaid tolls, fines".

    britain" Robber chief speaks on the Humber tolls
  • BBC - "Transport Secretary Philip Hammond defends rise in Humber Bridge tolls".
    There is no real debt on the Humber bridge only a paper one between the Government and the Bridge Board. As for "the interest rate subsidy", the last published accounts say that the interest rate charged by the Government was 7.75 per cent or 4.25 per cent if frozen debt was included. Either way, this rate is a lot higher than 0.5 per cent which the Government's pals in Threadneedle Street have decreed for the last 27 months.

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • 9MSN - "Sydney toll roads on way to being cashless".
    The only time that the trolls and the politicians who collaborate with them admit the effect of tolls is when they want to go cashless to "improve travel times and capacity".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Vancouver Sun - "Scanner flaw inflates tolls on Golden Ears Bridge".

    ireland Tolling of free tunnel put back
  • Post - "Cork motorists to escape Lynch tunnel toll for two more years".

    srilanka More on Tolls coming officially to Sri Lanka
  • Lanka Business Online - "Sri Lanka tolls without thought: Backed up traffic and black money".


    Sunday 17 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • A bit more on the possible default on the 4 billion dollar Indiana toll deal. It was news to us that the bank that in 2006 gave the money for this deal was RBS - about 70 per cent of which is owned by the British taxpayer after the bank was bailed out at the end of 2008 - Star-Telegram - "Builder of Texas roads may default on Indiana project".

  • Yesterday we had a story on "Carmageddon" and said that it was "a chance to see whether drivers are so stupid they will enter an area where real gridlock is forecast". It seems that they were not that stupid - LA Times - "L.A. downshifts, and the driving is easy"   BBC - "Carmageddon: Los Angeles 'averts traffic gridlock'".
    This story demonstrates what we have said before - that where there is a free choice then drivers will avoid congested areas and times, and that there is only "gridlock" when something unexpected happens.

  • Sundry stories - Maryland - "For whom the tolls pay".

    scotland china A Tale of Two bridges
  • We have pointed out before that the new Forth road bridge is probably not needed and even if it was then it is going to cost too much. Some of those in Scotland who are concerned anbout the cost have compared it with the new bridge opened in China recently - Guardian 30 June - "China opens world's longest sea bridge". That gives the cost of the 26 mile bridge as 1.4 billion British pounds, which works out at just over 50 million pounds a mile. Other accounts give the cost as 8.6 billion US dollars which is about 5.3 million pounds - which gives a cost of 200 million British pounds a mile.
    The Scottish Government gave responsibility for the new Forth road bridge to Transport Scotland - Forth Replacement Crossing. On 18 April 2011 they awarded the main contract for the new scheme and said that "the anticipated price for the Principal Contract (I.e. 2011 prices and excluding and allowance for price escalation during the construction phase and any VAT) is estimated to be between 0.9 billion and 1.2 billion.". There are some other contracts adding up to about 300 million and there is 100 million payable to the consulting engineers. So the final bill will be about two billion pounds for a crossing of "2.7 km". That gives a cost of about 1.2 billion pounds a mile. That's about six to twenty-four times higher than the cost of the Chinese bridge!


    Saturday 16 July 2011

    britain" More on Humber tolls
  • Grimsby Telegraph - "'Humber Bridge Board must delay toll rise'"   Hull Daily Mail - "An icon at 30 ... but Humber Bridge tolls row rages on".

    usa USA Roundup
  • More on the President and Republicans uniting to saddle drivers with more tolls - Barrons - "Obama and the GOP are vying to seem tough on the deficit, even as they both hail a sprawling project: infrastructure banks.".

  • LA Times - "Carmageddon is coming, so chill out and crank up the tunes"   BBC - "'Carmageddon': LA braces for traffic gridlock".
    This is a chance to see whether drivers are so stupid they will enter an area where real gridlock is forecast.

  • Sundry stories - Texas - "International firms show interest in Houston toll road".

    south Report on the new tolls in British newspaper
  • Independent - "Johannesburg's proposed tolls infuriate drivers".


    Friday 15 July 2011

    london TfL still at it
  • Despite Ken being voted out, TfL are still spreading round the world the myth that the London Con has reduced congestion - "the time of an automobile trip within the area dropped by 30 percent" - Oregonian - "In London, a charge to drive eases up the roads".

    usa USA Roundup
  • There have been a lot of stories recently saying that there is no point building more roads and that instead you need "congestion pricing". The stories follow on from this study from one of the centres of the Trolls in North America - University of Toronto - "U of T study finds road expansion increases traffic by increasing demand" inc link to report.
    Though the research study finishes with "This leaves congestion pricing as the main candidate tool to combat traffic congestion" there is no other mention of it or any indication of how they arrived at this conclusion. Presumably they either looked at the tea leaves in the cup or they looked up the answer in the handbook for trolls.

  • Etoll bridge to go cash - New Orleans City Business - "Leeville bridge to add cash lane to boost struggling revenues"   NOLA - "Cash-only toll lane might be added to Louisiana 1 bridge".
    Tolling on a bridge that carries 20 per cent of the country's fuel supplies, gives a clue as to why the US has a sick economy.

  • Republican Congressional Rep wants a better mousetrap - Clarke Daily News - "Wolf Asks for Distance-Pricing on Dulles Greenway".

  • Sundry stories - Cal. - "Bay Bridge: Toll hikes find few friends at hearing"   "Illinois Tollway fees to go up"   NJ. - "Route 422 tolls would be a burden on local residents"   Washington State - "Playing a tricky toll card in fighting the waterfront tunnel"   Washington State - "Poll: Tolls on I-5 express lanes bad idea"   Maryland- "Possible Toll Hikes Could Impact Trucking Companies".

    britain" More on Government loses no time in breaking its word
  • Dartford Messenger - "Dartford tolls jams shock".

    china No toll in Tibet
  • People's Daily - "Tibet's first expressway ready for use".
    Since the invasion in 1950 and the death of hundreds of thousands of Tibetans around 1960, Tibet has to a large extent become ethnically and economically Chinese, so it may seem surprising that there is no toll. but the Tibetan road being toll free is not unique as most recently completed roads in China have been free of the otherwise universal system of highway robbery.

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • On the Golden Ears bridge - News1130 - "BC truckers weigh benefits of Golden Ears Bridge after hike"   CBC - "Golden Ears Bridge tolls rise despite scanner concerns"   CKNW - "Surrey Board of Trade: toll everything"   Chilliwack Times - "An odd business indeed" letter.

  • This Editor's idea of no taxes is to put a toll on everything - BC Local - "Time for a tax revolt?".

    newzealand Do the Kiwii trolls believe that drivers are daft?
  • Stuff - "$1 toll = $4.5 billion". 4.5 billion = 4.5 billion stolen from drivers, even if they only pay it a dollar a time.
    But in any case the figures are not plausible. 915,000 drivers paying a dollar a day or 334 million a year and paying off a 4.5 billion loan, implies an interest rate of 6.2 per cent; it is unlikely that anyone would lend 4.5 billion repayable over 30 years secured on tolls at such a low rate. The cost of collecting and enforcing the toll has also been ignored. These costs even if only 50 cents per vehicle day, would wipe out half of the anticipated loot. And what happens when they later decide that they "need" to spend more billions and they want to finance that from tolls as well?


    Thursday 14 July 2011

    srilanka Tolls come officially to Sri Lanka
  • Lanka Business Online - "Sri Lanka to decide road toll next week".
    Those rich enough to afford a car may not be too bothered as there is no tax on diesel and the tax on petrol is next to nothing (less than one US cent per gallon).

    britain" Government loses no time in breaking its word
  • This is Essex - "Crossing toll row as fees not lifted for 12m queue".

    britain" Labour MP complains about delay in Government funding for tolled crossing
  • Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - "Halton MP Derek Twigg writes to transport secretary Phillip Hammond".
    The MP should have been complaining when his own Government would not provide funding for an untolled crossing. Instead he backed a plan that includes tolling the existing untolled crossing.


    Wednesday 13 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • On the plan for Federal money to be used to encourage more privately funded toll roads - Transportation Nation - "White House Not Giving Up on Infrastructure Bank".

  • Louisiana trolls do a deal so that they can get back to sucking blood from drivers - TriParish Times - "State settles lawsuit with toll bridge consultant".

  • A Bill that stands no chance - WWLP - "Lawmakers: eliminate Mass Pike tolls" video  Boston Channel - "State Considers Freezing Tolls, Offering Exemptions" video.

  • Sundry stories - Texas - "The Phony Rightwing"   Mass. - "Clearing the tunnel vision"   NJ. - "Only N.J. Turnpike's Upper 67 Mil".

    britain" Another story on cars for sheep
  • Telegraph - "Electric shock: the true cost of electric motoring".

    britain" North Lincs Council asks for an end to Humber tolls
  • Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Council bosses send letter to PM in bid to axe Humber Bridge tolls".

    nigeria Unofficial tolls in Nigeria
  • AllAfrica - "The Touts on Our Highways".
    As the touts "present to the motorist a cocktail of demands of various taxes and levies that the motorist has to pay before being allowed to continue with his journey", it would not need much of a change to make these tolls official!

    singapore Driving is for the rich
  • AsiaOne - "What are the social costs of COEs?".
    A cost of over 50,000 Singapore dollars for a piece of paper entitling you to buy a car is the equivalent of over 40,000 US dollars or over 25,000 British pounds. This high standing charge is one reason that Singapore drivers use their cars so much.

    newzealand More on latest proposal from Kiwii trolls
  • Stuff - "Proposed motorway toll 'unfair' - consumer groups"   Stuff - "Daily Auckland motorway toll proposed".

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • Melbourne Leader - "Academic questions value of congestion tax for Melbourne CBD".

  • Bit more on plans of the Flying Troll - Examiner - "Pacific tollway idea 'out'".

    ireland Possible increase in Irish tolls
  • Breaking News - "Government considers road toll rise and withdrawal of airport funding".


    Tuesday 12 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - California - "Debate Over HOT Lanes Heats Up"   California - "Toll lanes in LA to cost 25 cents to $1.40 a mile".

    china "The toll industry is the most profitable sector of the Chinese economy"
  • Business Insider - "While Some Chinese Highways Can't Make A Profit, Others Accused Of Overcharging".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Province - "A slightly higher gas tax is a bargain compared with tolls" letter.


    Monday 11 July 2011

    britain" More on cars for sheep
  • Guardian - "Will electric cars ever take over our roads?".
    The Government for one motive or another have been trying to con the public that electric = green, but this is only true in the sense that green = naive. Here is a recent paper from Transport Watch who looked at the Government claims - "Electric Cars" click on link to "summary note" etc.

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - Ohio - "Turnpike toll".

    india Possible Delhi Con
  • Pioneer - "Rs 20-cr study to finalise congestion tax model".
    According to the latest Census there are nearly 17 million people in Delhi and well over 20 million in the "National Capital Territory of Delhi". It is growing at the rate of about 500,000 people a year. Despite the poverty, the Government reported in 2008 that it expected the number of vehicles in the city to exceed 160 lakh by 2010 - IGovernment - "Traffic snarl snaps 42 Cr man-hour from Delhi, NCR workers". 160 may not sound much if you don't know that each lakh is 100,000!

    britain" Another strike
  • Some Southampton City Council workers are on strike again this week over draconian job cuts. The unions have called out those staff, such as the Itchen toll collectors, whose absence will cause the most pain to the Council. It is not clear if the Council are again using other people to collect the tolls.

    finland Another sign that Helsinki Con is unlikely to come back from the dead
  • Helsinki Times - "Finnish Conservatives reject Helsinki congestion charge".

    mozambique Another African nation joins the progressive front
  • MacauHub - "Mozambican government to define model for road concessions to private operators this year".

    australia Making money while the Sun isn't shining
  • Macquarie Atlas Roads (which owns the M6 Toll lease and other tolls) issued an Australian Stock Exchange Notice last week (4th) saying that Macquarie Fund Managers had earned a 50 million dollar "performance fee" as MAR had "outperformed the benchmark" by 78 per cent - MQA announcements on ASX.
    It seems that investors must be expecting that MAR toll roads will soon be earning money to offset what seems to be a negative position in the published accounts for 2010 which has assets of 1,852 miillion Aus dollars and liabilities of 2,077 million.


    Sunday 10 July 2011

    south More on the new tolls
  • Eye Witness News - "Gauteng SACP rejects toll tariffs".

    usa USA Roundup
  • More from the newspaper trolls - Mercury (Pa.) - "Tolling Route 422 is best option".

  • More etolls fun - Oregon Live - "Hillsboro woman sells car, now receives bills from toll booths in Denver".

  • Sundry stories - Maryland - "Toll increases not in Shore's best interest"   "Plans to lease Ohio Turnpike brings toll hike fears"   Washington State - "Photo tolling not there yet"   Washington State - "With summer's arrival, Good to Go ordeal takes toll on Narrows Bridge".

    britain" Bit more on Dartford tolls increase
  • Handy Shipping Guide - "Rising Tolls Hold Freight And Logistics Sector To Ransom As Haulage Operators Hit".
    Thw writer of the story thinks that the best plan is to use "modern technology" to collect the tolls. This is in fact the same idea that the Government have. When it is implemented it will be interesting to see by how much it reduces the congestion and if it really is "barrierless" then whether drivers will meekly pay the highway robbers or whether they will tell the Government where to go.


    Saturday 9 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • News Tribune (Wash. State) - "Voters likely to decide about tolls"   Seattle Times (Wash. State) - "Eyman initiative tosses sand into Highway 99 tunnel toll plans".

  • As good as it gets - Sightline (Wash. State) - "The Tolled Tunnel: Almost An Earthquake?".

  • Sundry stories - Texas - "Loop bucks up for tolls: 2-year Border Highway project adds 'express toll lanes' to 9-mile stretch"   DRPA - "Inquirer Editorial: Breaking its promise"   Calif. - "Bridge tolls to fund overpass from Antioch Bridge to Highway 4 bypass".

    finland Helsinki Con may not be back from the dead
  • YLE - "Congestion charging not high priority".

    britain" More from the toll machine
  • Runcorn & Widnes World - "Funding delays over Mersey Gateway   DRPA - "Inquirer Editorial: Breaking its promise" y put project costs up, warns MP".
    The bit about "the current bridge will have to close for major repairs" is similar to the tale that was put about when they wanted to increase the tolls on the Forth Road bridge. That tale was so successful that, even though the tolls were temoved, they are building a replacement brdge costing billions, when in our view it is almost certanly not neeeded.

    indonesia More on Jakarta Con
  • This latest story casts more doubt on the amount to be charged which rages from Rp 6,500 to Rp 100,000 - (Jakarta Post - "Editorial: Pricing Jakarta's roads".


    Friday 8 July 2011

    portugal U turn
  • Confirmation that the new Portugese Goverment which while in opposition gave the impression that it opposed new tolls, is now to do so - Portugal NewsOnline - "Tolls this summer".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Virginia judge rules that it is OK to treat drivers as cash cows - Legal Times - "Judge Dismisses Class Action Over Dulles Toll Road Fees"   Washington Examiner - "Lawsuit dismissed that would've thwarted Dulles Rail".
    The Airport Authority may be scrapped, though the cahnces of this are zero -Washington Examiner - "Tea Party Senate candidate calls for abolition of airports authority".

  • Republican Bill may make it easier to put toll lanes on free Interstates - Washington Post - "Fiery words over GOP proposal to cut transportation funds".

  • LA Times journalist attacks drivers who complain about tolls - "Steve Lopez: Stop whining about toll lanes on L.A. freeways".

  • Hero - SI Live - "Port Authority brands Staten Islander a scofflaw, tacks on $25,000 fees to $5,000 unpaid tolls".

  • Texas is to criminalise those who owe more than 50 dollars - Austin YNN - "Toll violators could now face a misdemeanor charge".

  • Veteran opponent of tolls battling on - Port Orchard Independent (Wash. State) - "Longtime bridge critic plans suit to stop photo-tolling".

  • The troll state of Maryland is to force it's employees to join unions - Americans for Tax Reform - "Maryland is Speeding Down the Road to Serfdom".

  • Bit more on the bankrupt toll - Santa Rosa Press Gazette (Florida) - "Garcon Point to remain open".

  • Sundry stories - Washington State - "Tunnels, tolls and traffic: The environmental statement is out"   DC / Va. - "Supervisors to Greenway Committee: Study Distance Tolling"   "DRPA panel to decide how to use unspent funding"   California - "Toll lanes coming to 10 and 110 freeways in Los Angeles County"   Land Line Mag - "Reform sought for Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission".

    britain" Bristol Chamber of Commerce would support a Con
  • Business Car - "Bristol WPL plans slammed".
    It seems that there really is one born every minute.

    wales "Go further to get rid of cars"
  • This is South Wales.
    The writer seems to be the Secretary of the Swansea cyclists group. If there were no cars, then where would the money come from to pay for the roads (and pavements that cyclists use?

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • Bit more reaction to the plans of the Flying Troll - Daily Examiner - "Highway takes its toll".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Mayors not in full agreement as to how to take more money from drivers - Vancouver Sun - "Mayors favour gas tax, but differ on road tolls and vehicle levies".
    Though one editor suggests "tolls on all bridges, maybe even roads; all motorists must pay, not just those who drive the most" - BCLocal - "Necessary evil".

    britain" Thurrock Mayor accepts Dartford tolls
  • Thurrock Gazette - "Council leader: Give us your crossing views".
    Presumably the Labour Leader is as anxious to see the higher tolls as he is to see "free-flow tolls".

    china Comment on how the Government is ignored when it comes to making money
  • People's Daily - "Poor implementation derails well-meaning policies".

    newzealand Bit more on latest proposal from Kiwii trolls
  • Stuff - "Shore rejects $6 toll for new crossing".


    Thursday 7 July 2011

    finland Helsinki Con back from the dead
  • Helsinki Times - "Finland's new transport minister backs congestion charge ".

    britain" More on Dartford Con
  • Yellow Advertiser - "Consultation to be held over Dartford Crossing"   Gravesend Reporter - "Consultation on Dartford Crossing begins as charges are set to soar".

    south More on the new tolls
  • Business Day - "Dedicated fuel levy better than tolls - Busa".
    There is a simple answer as to why Governments prefer tolls to fuel taxes - corruption.

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • Trolls pushing for tolls to replace fuel tax - Supply Chain - "Time to get busy on road pricing, Carr tells transport lobby".

  • More reaction to the plans of the Flying Troll - Canberra Times - "Red light on call to pay Majura toll"   News Mail - "The road toll blame game"   Gympie Times - "All sides disown hwy toll idea".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Toronto trolls suggest that roads users be gradually suckered - Daily Commercial News - "Toronto Board of Trade asks Ontario political parties for infrastructure proposals".

    indonesia Toll price tumbles
  • On 1st July we had a story about the prosed tollrates for the Jakarta Con - "Rp 75 thousand to Rp 100 thousand". Somehow these rates are now said to be between "Rp 6,500 and Rp 21,000" - (Jakarta Globe - "Jakarta Suggests Fees Range for Road Pricing Plan".

    britain" "Greeny" MPS want a slice of the loot
  • BBC - "MPs say fuel duty should cut public transport prices"   Parliament - "Environmental Audit Committee - Sixth Report Budget 2011 and environmental taxes" Motoring taxes section.
    As well as grabbing part of fuel duty to give to the bus operators, the MPs want to waste further money in giving bigger subsidies to encourage use of hybrid and electric cars. They also want to go back to encouraging use of bio-fuels.


    Wednesday 6 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • MINETA - "What Do Americans Think About Federal Transportation Tax Options? Results From Year 2 of a National Survey"   Details (pdf).
    Those who do these surveys must think that drivers are suckers. The survey did not mention tolls, but asked about a "mileage tax" at an "average 0ne cent a mile" with the option of the rate varying with the "vehicle's pollution level". One cent would not even cover the cost of administering the tax. And are American politicians so stupid or corrupt that they would go to so much trouble to mimic the effect of the gas tax which costs almost nothing to collect?

  • Another toll in trouble because there is not enough traffic - newspaper.com - "US Senate Leader Introduces Bill to Block Road Privatization".

  • Converting the unpopular car pool lanes to the unpopular toll lanes - LA Independent - "Metro experiments with toll lanes on Harbor, San Bernardino freeways".

  • Philly - "Easier passes"   ABC (Cal.) - "Man gets toll violations for a bridge he didn't use"  Fox (NJ / Pa.) - "Toll Cheats Cost Taxpayers Millions".
    Few newspaper editors seem to have twigged that the easiest tolls system is no tolls!.

  • Tolls as well as lining the pockets of those who run the tolls, often give money away. One of the more unusual beneficaries of the money forced from drivers is about to lose the handout - My Fox - "Food Bank Loses DRPA Funding For Now".

  • Sundry stories - NC - "Rushing for tolls?"   Land Line Mag - "Ohio, Maine budget deals reached"   Maryland - "Higher tolls expected to generate truck traffic"   NJ - "TDOT Data: Accident Rate Increased at Parkway's 11 Barrier Islands".

    south More on the new tolls, including Possible action by SA TUC
  • IoL - "Cosatu and RMI rejct new toll fees"   Business Day - "Paying a higher price for using super roads. State adopted the user-pays principle in 2007 - now it must make it work"   Times Live - "Tolls will lead us into cul-de-sac" letter.

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • More on the call from Federal Quango chaired by the Flying Troll for more tolls - Canberra Times - "ACT to baulk at Majura Parkway tolls"   ATN - "Tolls proposed for east coast highways"   ABC - "Minister says Bruce Hwy toll 'over my dead body'"   WA Today - "No toll, no road: WA infrastructure advisor draws the line"   My SunshineCoast- "Newman will seize on report recommendation to toll the Bruce Highway"   My SunshineCoast- "Tolls on Bruce Highway preposterous"   Newcastle Herald - "Call for Pacific Highway toll" Comments.

  • Yesterday we had a story about the Brisbane Mayor being happy about the one year old toll bridge even though the income was less than a third of the annual costs. The story today includes a suggestion that the bridge has made congestion worse - Brisbane Times - "A birthday to celebrate? Go Between Bridge turns one but critics remain" includes poll.

    britain" Bit more on Dartford Con
  • This is Money - "Outrage as Dartford Crossing charge to go up 67% in a year - costing motorists a fiver a day to go back and forth" few comments.


    Tuesday 5 July 2011

    south More on new tolls
  • New Age - "Remember who will pay".

    china Trying to control the money machine
  • Xinhua Net - "China to step up crackdown on illegal toll collection".

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • Trolls beg for a new road to be tolled - Canberra Times - "Majura Parkway 'should be toll road'".
    Infrastructure Australia is a Federal Quango chaired by the Flying Troll (Sir Rod Eddington). They also want some existing roads tolled - ABC - "Governments urged to consider tolls"   Australian - "Infrastructure boss Rod Eddington warns of $86bn threat to productivity"   Brisbane Times - "Finally, a reaction to our inaction".

  • Though the proposal to toll the coastal highway from Brisbane to Cairns seems to have been squashed - Brisbane Times - "Govt, LNP rule out Bruce Highway toll".

  • Brisbane Mayor is optimistic about the toll bridge even though the income is less than a third of the annual costs - Brisbane Times - "Mayor predicts Go Between boost".

    newzealand Kiwii trolls propose more tolls
  • 3News - "Harbour Bridge toll figures up in the air"   News Talk - "No immediate plans to use tolls - Govt"   3News - "Harbour Bridge toll figures up in the air"   NZ Herald - "Would you support a $6 Auckland Harbour crossing toll?"   NZ Herald - "$6 toll to cross Auckland Harbour Bridge".

    scotland Scottish toll advocates still at it
  • Boss of the "Centre for Scottish Public Policy" (according to Source Watch, partly funded by European Parliament) wants tolls and "congestion chargingh" to pay for trams et al - Scotsman - "Public sector in dire need of ideas".


    Monday 4 July 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • The Republican Governor of Ohio, and former Lehmann Brothers boss, plans to farm out the Turnpike - CBS / AP - "Ohio Turnpike lease plans bring toll hike fears".

  • Two stories today from Illinois which seems to illustrate that to the news media, somebody dying is of no importanace comapared with them getting a rerfund for one driver who overpaid - Radio720 - "Woman, 20, killed in overnight tollway crash"   Beacon News - "Paying tolls once is bad enough... ".

  • Another toll in trouble because there is not enough traffic - Reuters - "Florida bridge agency misses bond payment, defaults".

  • Sundry stories -   DC - "Tolls will continue to jump on Washington roads"   NJ /Pa. "Bridge, PATCO hikes go into effect today"   NJ /Pa. "TURKEYS AND TROPHIES: Bridge tolls in perpetuity"   Louisiana - "Bridge-toll lawsuits end in settlement"   Florida - "Trucks' Toll Hike Waiver Expires".

    south More on new tolls
  • IoL - "'Discrepancy' mars toll roads cost"   New Age - "Taxi operators want exemption from toll system".
    Claim that Cape tolls will not be as high as Gauteng - IoL - "Cape tolls 'won't be ridiculous'".

    ireland Dublin Con is off
  • Post - "Varadkar rules out congestion charge".

    japan Some Japanese roads now empty because or reimposition of tolls
  • Korean Joongang Daily - "The backlash of rage". (The Okinawa Expressway was one of the roads where tolls were removed, but then brought back with the excuse that it was because of the costs of the earthquake.)


    Sunday 3 July 2011

    australia Federal Government says that there will be no increases in fuel taxes - ever, instead there may be a lot more tolls
  • The Australian - "No tax on fuel, but Greens win Productivity Commission inquiry".


    Saturday 2 July 2011

    britain" More on Dartford Con
  • Echo - "Dartford Crossing tolls to go up twice within a year"   News Shopper - "Proposed increase to tolls on the Dartford Crossing".

    indonesia Yet another Jakarta car control
  • Jakarta Globe - "Now Jakarta Plans Color-Coding for Cars to Beat Jams".

    south Bit more on new tolls
  • Business Report - "Cosatu: Toll cuts don't soften objections".


    Friday 1 July 2011

    britain" Dartford Con
  • BBC - "Dartford crossing fee suspension proposed"   Autoblog - "Dartford tolls to be dropped in 'severe' conditions".
    The Government last October announced that tolls would be lifted when there was heavy congestion, when will drivers ever see it in practice?
    Kent Council is again calling for another crossing - Kent News - "KCC renew second Thames crossing call as Dartford tolls consultation begins ". Are they really that ill informed that they do not know that if tolls were removed then there would be no need for another crossing?

    south More on drivers being bled more gradually
  • Times Live - "E-tolls cut, but not enough for drivers" comments   Times Live - "Pressed motorists unhappy about e-tolls" comments   IoL - "'Road users are now cash cows'" comments.
    IAfrica - "'Tolls not the solution'"   ITWeb - "E-toll cuts not enough"   Business Report - "Tolls still pose a burden"   IAfrica - "Tolls pose financial burden".

    indonesia More on Jakarta's Con plan
  • Berita Jakarta - "ERP Tariff Determined by Jakarta Governor".
    A toll of "Rp 75 thousand to Rp 100 thousand" is about 10 US dollars or 6 GB pounds, quite a lot for an average Indonesian.

    portugal U turn
  • The new Portugese Goverment while in opposition gave the impression that it opposed new tolls, now it seems that the Portugese drivers are to be had - Portugal NewsOnline - "Taxing times ahead".

    china Another report on the money machine
  • Asia Times - "China's expressways face high-toll backlash".

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • Reaction to a call for a Con - Supply Chain - "Calls for congestion charging; transport lobby unconvinced".


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