The last time I posted anything on road pricing, I was urged to "get a grip" by esteemed blogger Tim Worstall who reckoned I was paying insufficient attention to the "polluter pays" principle. Fair cop, guv, but what I was really seeking to point out was merely that the Government had paid the public transport network insufficient attention during its 10 years in power.
I didn't, in fact, sign the Downing Street petition against road pricing which has caused all the kerfuffle, for the simple reason that I think it could be part of the solution to the congestion in some large cities. But I don't support a national road pricing scheme for much the same reason I don't support ID cards - it could only work with the imposition of "spy in the cab" technology which would give the Government even more knowledge about, and therefore power over, our movements.
There are to my mind much more practical and far less politically problematic ways to cut congestion, and I will name two here. First, by radically improving school bus transport to remove the need for "school runs." When I were a lad, we all either got the bus to school or walked. If your parents gave you a lift you were a poof, which in those days was a general term of abuse directed towards the pampered or effete as opposed to the homophobic bullying it would be viewed as today.
The second is by encouraging a major growth in working from home. This is, of course, supposed to be how we are all going to work in future, but as a matter of fact, a lot of companies don't encourage it, mainly due to worries about people's laptops being invaded by computer viruses which they then bring with them into the office. Maybe a few tax breaks here and there might force them to reconsider.