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Motorists could be charged to drive in city centres under EU plans to meet emissions targets

February 15, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




From the Telegraph:


Motorists could be charged for driving through British towns and cities and households could face a "bin tax" under EU plans to meet emissions targets.

The European Commission has issued a new set of guidelines for councils on how to which sets how to meet targets to reduce emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

It said that councils should send a "clear economic signal to polluters" to reduce vehicle emissions and encourage recycling.


Households are being forced to pay for green waste collection as councils struggle to make massive cuts in their budgets.

Environmentalists hope the charges will encourage people to compost  Photo: ALAMY

The guide tells local authorities that it is important "to ensure that local or regional taxes or charges are consistent with wider objectives", but has been described as a series of "diktats" by Conservative MPs.

Eurosceptic MPs have argued these new proposals are another example of Britain’s "EU masters" attempting to by-pass the county’s own sovereign Parliament.

The guide states: "Specific examples of local charging schemes that both generate local revenues and serve wider public policy objectives include: congestion charging for private car use in urban centres; charging for commercial and domestic waste collection and disposal has the advantage of ensuring the sustainability of the service and sending out a clear economic signal to polluters."


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Andrew Bridgen, the Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, said: "The European Commission doesn’t do guidance, it does diktats.

"We should all be under no illusion that this is the direction of travel it wants us to go in.

"This is another example of our EU masters trying to by-pass our so-called sovereign Parliament by going directly to our local authorities with their edict."

And Martin Vickers, a Conservative MP who sits on the Transport Select Committee, added: "This is typical of the European Union and its ever increasing interference.

"Local authorities are the ones to decide whether or not to introduce congestion charging or bin taxes without the need for any guidance from Brussels."


As I’ve mentioned before, in order to hit decarbonisation targets the EU will need to achieve big reductions in CO2 emissions from the transport sector. As hopes for a mass switch to electric cars are becoming ever more vanishingly small, expect a war on private motorists.

Congestion charges may be one solution, but I think road pricing won’t be far behind.

  1. February 15, 2016 1:20 pm

    The left’s desire to punish people for everyday living knows no bounds. As for the electric cars: thank a coal miner.

  2. Ex-expat Colin permalink
    February 15, 2016 1:22 pm

    memo to me…vote UKIP local councillor again. There is a case to remove vehicles and particularly looney bus drivers way from high street areas. Likely Prescott has had all the spaces filled to enable that?

  3. February 15, 2016 1:26 pm

    The sooner we leave the EU the better.

  4. A C Osborn permalink
    February 15, 2016 1:41 pm

    It is getting close to a case for civil disobediance where every single motorist says “Enough, we are not paying”.
    There would be such a backlog of court cases they would never get the cash.
    Start an online “slush fund” for those that get prosecuted first, flood the courts with supporters etc.
    The French will not be paying it just you watch their reaction to this idea.

    • Russ Wood permalink
      February 17, 2016 4:12 pm

      This is already happening around Johannesburg, South Africa. The motorway routes around Johannesburg, and between JHB and Pretoria, were widened and tolled with an exceptionally complex ‘e-tolling’ scheme, with transponder tags and number plate recognition. The idea of just increasing the (province dependent) fuel tax was ignored, in favour of a scheme which granted a large amount of the income to the Swedish company running the system. (A lot of people thought that there was a certain amount of ‘back-handers’ involved). Public participation? Hardly any. Buy in to the tags? Only from companies who could pass the costs on to someone else. Compliance? Yes, well, about 70% of local motorists admit to never paying the tolls, and probably the real number is closer to 90%. With the ANC Government (and friends)very obviously pocketing cash by the bucketful, the SA taxpayer has had enough!

  5. February 15, 2016 1:50 pm

    ‘charging for commercial and domestic waste collection and disposal’

    Note to EU: charging for waste already takes place in the UK. It’s part of what we call ‘rates’ .

    • catweazle666 permalink
      February 15, 2016 11:00 pm

      It’s supposed to be paid for by ‘Council Tax’.

      Unfortunately, collections are becoming progressively less frequent, and the local waste collection depots are forever increasing the prices for depositing an increasingly varied assortment of types of waste that used to be collected weekly, even though some councils expect their tax payers to host ut to half a dozen bins and carry out such totally ridiculous activities as washing out tin cans before placing them in the correct bin – failure to do so can result in a three figure fine.

      Funny thing, on my forays abroad, I have seen systems where the collection of waste was franchised and the lucky contractor picked it up daily, sorted it and ran at a profit.

  6. David Richardson permalink
    February 15, 2016 2:03 pm

    I bet my local council will be miffed – they are just about to remove the universal “green” bins.

    Until a while back we had an optional green bin for compostible garden waste which cost us £40 per year – we compost all soft waste anyway to go back on the garden, so only harder waste and weeds went in it. Then 5 years back they gave one to every household for no extra cost. Now under spending cuts they are just about to move back to the optional/paid for system – so Brussels will not be happy as most folks will do without as they did originally.

    Amazing the hoopla that they go through when they run out of someone else’s money, and our council is not too bad, honest.

  7. dearieme permalink
    February 15, 2016 2:37 pm

    We’ll just burn our garden waste that’s unsuitable for composting. The extra smoke in the atmosphere will protect us from the rays of the sun and therefore from Global Warming. And we save money. Win, win, win.

    • Sceptical Sam permalink
      February 15, 2016 3:03 pm

      Burn it?

      Really? Why waste it like that? (Although the additional CO2 will be welcomed by farmers no doubt)

      Better to take it down to your local members house at 2:00 in the morning and give it to them.

      It doesn’t need to be on their doorstep. The footpath outside is ideal.

      Or be creative. Take it to the Council Chambers. Or Parliament House. Or Kew gardens. Or the Opera House. Or the middle of Pall Mall. Now that would be appalling.

      It’s time the real world took a leaf out of the green left’s playbook.

      “Send a message. Tip a bin on a greenie.”

      • catweazle666 permalink
        February 15, 2016 11:04 pm

        A few years ago one of our local farmers was driving past the local council offices with his tractor and shit tanker when his power take-off accidentally engaged…

        Cost him a few quid but he reckoned it was worth it.

  8. Robert permalink
    February 15, 2016 2:38 pm

    ”I think road pricing won’t be far behind.”

    They have to use their Galileo satellites for something.

  9. February 15, 2016 5:39 pm

    Some nice suggestions, especially “Tip a bin on a Greenie” or councillor!.

    However, there is a serious issue with Nitrogen oxides in the cities and that should be the reason for limiting in-city traffic not CO2.

    Unfortunately, the same semi-scientists are jumping on the emissions bandwagon as have inhabited the CO2 lobby. Their regular claim is hundreds dying because of PM2.5 etc, based on half-understood medical statistics.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      February 15, 2016 8:48 pm

      Have you looked at the overall Nox picture though?

      • February 16, 2016 8:29 am

        Not really, my experience of NOx is from power stations and industrial boilers. I am just beginning to look into glcs of gases in cities, partly because the VW scam brought out how little is known about vehicle emissions.

        The WHO an GMC are conspiring to start a terror campaign about PM2.5 and NOx so I am interested to learn more… What is the overall NOx picture?

      • catweazle666 permalink
        February 16, 2016 7:30 pm

        “What is the overall NOx picture?”

        NOx being groomed as a replacement bogeyman to fill in for CO2 until something else can be dreamed up to alarm the bedwetters?

  10. manicbeancounter permalink
    February 15, 2016 9:24 pm

    When I started blogging back in 2008 I concentrated mostly on the upcoming referendum in Manchester on a congestion charge. There was a £3bn package of measures, to be financed by a congestion charge of just £1 for entering the outer ring and £2 for entering the inner ring. There were a number of issues.
    – Over £300m of the cost was the charging scheme.
    – No mention was made about the proposed increases in charging rates – 5.5% a year to 2041.
    – In the modelled projections of responsiveness of consumers to the carrot of improved public transport and the stick of the congestion charge, consumers were assumed to be extremely price sensitive. Obviously the models did not take into account the cold and wet conditions of Manchester.
    – The center piece of the whole project was massive extensions of Metrolink – the local light rail system. The message was “No Congestion Charge, No new Metrolink”
    The points are covered in more detail here here.
    All the political leaders were in support, along with many of the businesses. Massive amounts of public funds were poured into the We Vote Yes campaign. Most of the media coverage was in support. 79% of Manchester people voted against. Six months later the £700m+ Metrolink extensions were announced.
    Now the congestion charge could be forced upon us by the EU without any vote.

    • dearieme permalink
      February 16, 2016 12:33 am

      “Now the congestion charge could be forced upon us by the EU without any vote.” Votes don’t matter in the EU: if a referendum gives the wrong result they just call another referendum till they get the answer they want.

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