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Old 02-17-2003, 09:55 AM   #1
rsheidler
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Default Re: London begins ''congestion charges''

I note that they exempt "all 2-wheeled vehicles" rather than specifying motorcycles. That gets them out of arguements over whether Corbin Sparrows (and old Morgan, Reliant and other 3-wheelers) qualify.



Very interesting experiment. Not sure I like the enforcement mechanism of photographing license plates and matching them to the database of paid-up commuters. Smacks a bit too much of Big Brother for my tastes.



Bob
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:44 AM   #2
pbx
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Default Re: London begins ''congestion charges''

Yeah, they basically exempt everything that has less than four wheels:



"All two-wheeled vehicles (including with sidecars) - that is, motorbikes, mopeds and bicycles - are exempt from the congestion charge. You can ride them anywhere in the zone at any time without paying the charge and do not have to register for this exemption..." (from the Transport for London site)



I'm not too hot on the surveillance component either. Britain's pretty far down that road already, what with Gatso speed cameras and those vans that drive around scanning for people who are illegally watching TV...
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:04 AM   #3
sarnali
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Default Re: London begins ''congestion charges''

The whole video survillance issue is not something I'd like to see around here, But they have the right attitide on bikes in England, the whole motorcycle currior thing is briiliant, if they banned or taxed them their financial district would grind to a halt in no time
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:12 AM   #4
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I didn't mean to state it that way ("everything less than four wheels"), since that's definitely not the way their official site describes it. I wonder if Sparrows and the like are registered as "motorcycles" there as they are here.
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:16 AM   #5
rsheidler
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Default Re: London begins ''congestion charges''

Actually, that is the BBC news site, rather than the official site, but clearly the intention is to exclude motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles and the like.



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Old 02-17-2003, 11:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: London begins ''congestion charges''

The major concern with this idea is that small business that make deliveries (have delivery vehicles) are going to get drown by the tax. I bet you will see some big milk creates on the back of bikes in the near future. They sould probably start buying some old touring bikes.
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:55 AM   #7
The_Aerodynamic_Head
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Default Re: London begins ''congestion charges''

Old touring Bikes?!



Are you kidding?

I have seen a couriour (french spelling, imported by William of Orange) with bunches of roses--at least four dozen by counting the number of vases (yes!) that were strapped into the milkcrate on 20-year-old 450cc Hondas. They would never ride touring bikes because they wouldn't fit through traffic...they might at well drive a cage, then, as far as they think of it. The biggest bikes those guys ride are the PanEuropaeiaeoun (english spelling designed to ***** off the the french)--nee ST1100--and that's for ,ahem, long distance courioures, which is to, like, Scotland and back in a day. Motorcyclist (who don't deserve even a french spelling these days) ran a big feature on coiureioures about a year ago which was very coieoule...er...cool.
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Old 02-17-2003, 12:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: London begins ''congestion charges''

And I thought toll highways in the U.S. were stupid. $8 to enter the city?! And they use automated cameras to bill people?! Why didn't we think of that? Oh yeah, we're not completely socialist.....yet.



I can just see people getting billed for their stolen cars (maybe they get refunds).



What's really sad is that a majority of people support it (those who don't have to pay for it, I'm sure). But what comes around goes around, they'll get their turn.



Said a London commuter: "I'm just glad to do my part in giving money to the govt. You know, so they can by more cameras and stuff."



Oh yeah, it's great that motorcycles are exempt from paying (snicker).



What a truely STUPID idea.
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Old 02-17-2003, 12:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: London begins ''congestion charges''

Perhaps it's time to bust out the ol' Harley-Davidson ServiCar
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Old 02-17-2003, 01:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: London begins ''congestion charges''

I haven't been to London for a few years but I went to Melbourne Australia for a holiday last year and was intrigued with their toll system on the inner city freeways. For casual users like me I had to ring up and pay the toll for my rental car and no doubt if I didn't, the video surveillance would have caught me and they would have chased the rental car company. Read about the system here http://www.isis.tm.fr/02_Anglais/02_..._Melbourne.htm

I have heard that rental car companies in UK (and do they do it in the US) have GPS gear to track your movements and I gather they can police your speed - talk about big brother - technology is going to regulate us too much. Not my idea of fun. Imagine that sort of speed monitoring of squids on their GSXR1000s for example. Where's the fair game in that? Speed cameras are bad enough.



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