Here we go then, time for a rant or two! First up is Teignbridge District Council in Devon and their plans to charge staff to park at their Newton Abbot main office. Now we are seeing, and no doubt will continue to see, more local authorities slapping a parking charge on their staff who have the temerity to drive to work. This in itself isn't the main reason for my rant although even a flat charge for all is unfair in as much as it discriminates against the person who lives nowhere near public transport whereas others can just hop on a bus. By the way this is all in the name of the environment, trying to get people out of their cars and walking if near enough, or using the train/bus. Of course traffic tends to peak at times of the office commute and the school run, at other times of day it is likely to be more manageable. And increasing the use of public transport should bring their unit costs down.
However it wasn't the basic idea of charging staff to park that made me see red: it was the suggestion, now abandoned, to charge older cars more than the newer models. If you had a car made before January 2001 the proposal was that you would pay double the amount i.e. £1 a day instead of 50 pence. This makes me so angry to think that such an idea ever saw the light of day. Yes of course the technology has moved forward and today's car engines produce less emissions but the pseudo-greens never ever mention the cost to the environment in manufacturing a new vehicle. Nor do they mention that because of the complexity of modern systems on new cars when such parts ultimately fail it becomes too expensive for the owner to replace them. This can mean scrapping a car ahead of time as it were because the rest of the vehicle is perfectly alright. The car scrappage scheme illustrates my point perfectly - yes of course it helped to get the economy to get on the move but had absolutely nothing to do with the environment. When that scheme started I heard an "expert" state it was good for the environment. It's a wonder I didn't hurl something at the radio.
It happens time and again that experts and decision makers will just paint that part of the picture that suits their agenda. Does it make me cross!