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2700 years of congestion charging

Note, if you will, this Parliamentary exchange yesterday:

"Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will extend the boundary for exemption from the Dartford Crossing toll...

Paul Clark: The purpose of the charge at the Dartford crossing is to tackle congestion..".


The Dartford tunnel as was has been around since 1963, and to my knowledge has always charged, so we can take 'London' congestion charging back 45 years. Given that other bridges in these parts charged prior to 1963 we can then go back the Bridges Act of 1530, make that 478 years. And if bridges, why not toll roads, the earliest ones apparently being those of the Assyrians. Well, chariots build up at rush hour could be frightful. That gives us 2700 years.

Mr Clark should be utterly ashamed of himself, as if it looks like 'take it or leave it' pricing, quacks like 'take it or leave it' pricing etc, then assuredly that is what it is, whatever damn fool name Clarke wishes to give it.

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Anonymous Geoff said... 10:14 am

This is some of the most obscure pedantry I've seen for quite a while anywhere. My heartiest appreciation.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:18 am

Or as my favourite irregular verb has it, "I am accurate, you are a nitpicker, he is a pedant".  

Blogger Blue Eyes said... 10:39 am

As I like to point out, road-pricing is a pretty free-market way of financing roads. Which makes it odd that Tories are usually against while Lefties love it.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:56 am

I'm happy enough with universal road pricing if the fees pay for the facility and only the facility.  

Anonymous Ian K. Ellard said... 10:59 am

It's long been known round these parts that the toll came in when the bridge was opened to pay for the bridge itself. Now, so goes the rumour, the toll pays the wages of the toll-booth attendants.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:08 am

Ian - it wouldn't surprise me.

While digging for details I saw this:

"Collection costs can absorb up to one-third of revenues, and revenue theft is considered to be comparatively easy".  

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