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December 9, 2009

 [picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=congestion&iid=4269791″ src=”e/1/2/1/The_Mayor_Considers_fe70.jpg?adImageId=8168399&imageId=4269791″ width=”380″ height=”255″ /] 

Kingston Upon Hull, England – Regular readers of the this blog will know that Back Roads Rider has a bit of thing about congestion charging and road tolling.

Thus it’s good, from my perspective that we are in a current stalemate over the introduction of a pay per trip regime for use of the UK’s road system. Possible impasse would be a better term to use brought on by the looming General Election, simple put politicians can see that the political risks of congestion charging and road tolling outweigh the perceived benefits. In this case ‘risk’ being they won’t get elected and ‘perceived benefits’ being thinking up a way to get around the EU Directives on road charging and tolling which state that all profit from income must be spent on transport projects. Not rather misguided military adventures in foreign climes often situated to the east of the UK.

But yet those diehard civil service mandarins down in London, no doubt egged on by a posse of ministerial special advisers, have not given up hope. Hope that someday in someway the great British public will learn to enjoy the benefits that road charging can, in their view at least, bring the nation. Yes, the Cabinet Office has produced yet another report, I think there have been five in the past six years, in which a small flickering flame of hope is kept alive that some type of road charging should be considered as a way of solving traffic congestion. I was thinking that the recession had done that, and for free!

Coincidently information from the Department of Transport (DfT) has revealed that the department has spent over £30 million on attempts to influence some of the UK’s major cities into introducing road charging in some form, and projects to test the technology needed to charge. Oh well what’s the odd £30mill matter we can always borrow some more.

Congratulations to the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) who have apparently solved the on-going problem of loss of entitlement to ride when applying for a replacement licence due to change of address, loss, renewal etc.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will now be returning original driving licences to motorcyclists whenever a replacement licence is issued.

The new procedure (with a hole punched through the original licence to invalidate it), has been introduced because disputed entitlements over licence categories have meant that many riders have been forced to take another driving test simply because they were unable to prove previously held entitlements.

Can it be that easy? The BRR news hound has been dispatched post haste to the DVLA HQ in Swansea to sniff out the inside line on this one. We shall be reporting back as soon as we can ‘retrieve’ the story from him. Anyone seen the box of Bonio’s.

One for the road engineers and road safety engineers.

Congratulations to Saint-Gobain Pipelines, Stirling Lloyd and Bristol City Council for winning this years Prince Michael Road Safety Award for motorcycling with ‘Grip Top’.

 ‘Grip Top’ is a new service cover (that’s a manhole cover to you and me) that offers levels of grip comparable to the surrounding road surface and which is also capable of durable performance under intense traffic over a decade.

Yes folks it’s finally here a manhole cover that won’t cause you to take a trip through the nearest hedge.

More info here…..

Why not persuade a local council near you to fit them. Alternatively sponsor the fitting of one yourself. Bit more practical than a bunch of flowers at the side of the road.

© Back Roads Rider 2009

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