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ECC pulls out of ‘Spy-in-the-sky’ road charging trials

Wed, 14 Jan 2009 00:00:00 -0800

Essex County Council, in a show of uncommon common sense, has pulled out of trials for the new ‘Spy in the Sky’ road charging tax.

Road pricing trials halted in Essex

Secret trials of a new system to charge motorists by the mile were due to roll out in Essex, Leeds, North Yorkshire, Buckinghamshire, London, and Suffolk, trialing the technology that would enable the government to charge motorists based on where they drive and when they drive.

But the whole trial has been put in doubt after ECC announced they were no longer prepared to take part.

The Highways boss at Essex Council, Norman Hume, said:

‘I would have significant concerns about any possible trials taking place in Essex. We cannot support something that has the potential to unfairly penalise motorists in this way. I would like to understand how the Government intends to consult local authorities on the use of roads in their area.

‘Local decisions affecting local residents should be taken by their locally-elected representatives. A large part of Essex is rural, and for many residents the only option is to use their car to carry out their normal, everyday activities.’

Good on him. At any time, never mind a time when everyone is feeling the pinch, more milking of the motorist is unacceptable. Hopefully this will stop the trials flat, and the government will shelve this barking idea (although it probably won’t – a 1.7 million name petition didn’t stop it either!).

Still, we live in hope.

By Cars UK