The UK’s controversial debate over pay-as-you-drive road tolls reaches a milestone today with the closure of a popular online protest. Nearly 1.7 million aggrieved motorists have signed the petition since it was launched by Downing Street last November – firmly rejecting Government plans to charge drivers up to £1.34 a mile at peak times.
The petition, which closes at midnight on Wednesday (00.00 GMT) proved so popular that it has caused the Downing Street website to crash. And prime minister Tony Blair has vowed to send an email to everyone who signed the petition, justifying Government plans to launch road tolls as the only solution for chronic congestion problems.
CAR Online’s take on all this? The Government should be warned that motorists feel strongly about road tolls and ministers shouldn’t ride roughshod over public opinion. Blair was caught off guard by the fuel price protests of 2000, which brought much of Britain to a standstill – and it could happen again over road pricing.
The No.10 Downing Street petition can be found at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/traveltax/