Though I realize it's fashionable to deride cars for the nuisance that they can be (and yes, I realize that they do pollute quite a bit), I also realize that they still have a practical and useful place in our society. Going one step further, after reading a recent article in the Daily Telegraph, I have to come out against yet another way the British government has come up with to tax people.
A plan is currently under consideration whereby people who drive to park and park in company parking lots could find themselves with a new tax levied.
According to the article, the government is considering whether or not to impose a levy of around £350 per year per commuter on businesses across the United Kingdom. The article continues that while companies will likely pay most of the tax, it's likely that individual drivers could become legally responsible for the amount.
I take public transportation most mornings to work, which entails a nice 10 minute walk to my subway station, a 20 minute commute to a central station, and a 10 minute walk across the station to the commuter trains. This leaves me with a 35 minute train ride to my suburb, and then a 15 minute bus ride to my office. In short, I'm looking at a 90 minute train ride.
Let's compare to the days when I drive to work: I walk 1 minute to my care and 25-30 minutes later, I am at my desk. It's not a hard decision?
It's hard to justify the extra commute when I lose so much time in productivity. If my company were to levy me a tax of over 400 Euros for the privilege of driving to my place of employment, where I help keep the national economy going - well, it just doesn't make any sense to me.
They've actually been doing this for several years now, just invisibly to the commuter. Since as early as 2001, companies have been under pressure from local councils to reduce their parking footprint and prevent parking in local roads around their premesis. This is why so many have run minibuses from local rail stations or transport links; they wouldn't spend that money for nothing. Newly built offices do not have enough parking spaces for their anticipated occupancy.
It's good that environmental measures are being enforced, but I do wish they'd spend some of the tax revenue on improving public transport so that there was a realistic alternative.