I wasn't accusing people here of being of being hysterical - I was talking about the opposition to the charge in general, from what I've seen on other discussion forums and on radio phone-ins and the like
In response to jrhartley's alternative system - it's on it's way. We (IBM) are working with the UK's largest insurer to implement a system that charges you by actually usage and the areas you drive in. Once rolled out it will have wider implications, and uses. Ken has already expressed an interest in a similar system. I predict it will be common-place by 2006.
Ken's an idiot - that's generally accepted.
Is it? Generally accepted by whom? Those who believe everything they read in the gutter press, certainly. But Londoners voted him into office by a clear majority with their eyes wide open (he was not exactly an unknown quantity). I can't imagine they would have done that if he was merely an idiot.
Also I think it's childish to personalise the thing in this way. Congestion charging isn't something Ken alone dreamed up as his own personal barmy scheme. Many urban planners, transport economists etc. (and indeed some other politicians) have been calling for something similar for a long time. I imagine the details have been worked out, after consultation in various directions, by paid officials at TfL who were presumably hired for their expertise, not by Ken personally. Whether they have got it right or not remains to be seen.
I do have the right to drive my car where I want, when I want. I pay my road tax and insurance. I paid my VAT on the car itself. I pay duty on the fuel I put in it, and now I will pay the congestion charge when entering the zone. It's all about choice.
No, you don't. Where in the law does it say that you have that "right"? Legally, as I understand it, the authorities would be quite within their rights to ban yours and all other private cars altogether from whatever areas they choose.
And I wish they would.
Also, as I have pointed out earlier in this thread, your road tax doesn't entitle you to anything. It certainly doesn't cover the real full cost of providing and maintaining the roads, still less all the ancillary things like traffic police, all of which come out of the general taxation which everybody has to pay whether they use a car or not.
I'll say it yet again -- urban road space is a finite and very costly resource. If a real market value could be placed on it, it would take a lot more than 5 quid per car per day to cover it.