This is going to sound a bit draconian and I can hardly believe I'm about to write this. There are a huge number of vehicles on the road that are only used for very short journeys where public transport or (dare I say) walking would be as effective. The problem is that we are being squeezed on prices of vehicles, price of fuel, increased congestion. It hurts but we soon adjust to the pain. What we need is a system where people have to make a deliberate and life changing committment to own and run a car, and they need to make this committment every year.
What I propose is that the government take all tax off of fuel and abolish the road fund license. Instead, replace it with a single "Personal Transport Tax" and a "Commercial Transport Tax" of approximately £10,000 per year and £15,000 per year respectively. For those road users whose business and livelihood depends on their vehicle, there wouldbe a break-even point of say 25,000 for personal vehicles and 35,000 per year for commercial vehicles where their motoring under this new scheme costs about the same as it did under the old scheme. Therefore, people who NEED to use vehicles will be largely unaffected.
However, the rest of us would need to make a decision every year – "Will I get £10,000 worth of use out my vehicle this year?" Most will agree that they will not. You can get a lot of taxis, buses and trains for £10,000 per year. This will drive more people and more money ontoi the public transport system and we can stop subsidizing them with tax payers money. Where there is more money in public transport, competition will appear driving the service quality up. Everyone's a winner. Personnaly, if I had to make that decision right now, I could only justify having one car and that one car does about 40,000 miles per year. The other car would have to go. I think a lot of people would feel the same way.
It won’t be long before the cost to the economy of the UK will reach staggering proportions. Already, with no accidents or roadworks, the ecomony is suffering to the tune of tens of millions of pounds every day. Additionally, people are communting for longer and longer (times not distances) every day just to get to and from work, which will have an adverse affect on the health and quality of life of many millions of people. It also affects their productivity when they do eventually get to work.
If traffic congestion continues to increase, it won’t be long before we’re going to have to take drastic measures anyway. This is a good idea.