Author Topic: A tax on caving?  (Read 10751 times)

emgee

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A tax on caving?
« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2005, 01:11:09 am »
Quote from: "stu"
Interesting piece on the radio this am. London has reduced congestion and more people are using the bus. Why? Well the buses are still owned by London effectively; Red Ken.  Outside of London no one takes the buses seriously. No suprise here to learn they are all de-regulated... the prime concern of any private company is to make money; service does suffer. It would take me 1hr 50m to travel (that's on the bus - off the bus; not door to door; not including missed or "missing" connections) the 17 miles to work on the bus. Why would I abandon my car journey of 35 mins?

London shows that if you can get the public transport right people will use it (for those of us in Sheffield can you remember the 2 - 5pence bus fees? Remarkable). Put the horse before the cart.


Had to meet my girlfriend at Hope station on Sunday rather glad I got there before the train got in. It seemed a thoroughly depressing place with no toilet facilities other than the two shelters which from the smell got extensive use as toilets. She'd got the train from Manchester to save me fetching her by car. Not sure I'd suggest it again. Improve public transport and people will use it more.

Offline Johnny

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A tax on caving?
« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2005, 11:43:56 am »
emgee & Stu

I could not agree more, people do not have much choice but to use their cars and when they do they get penalised for it.
Onwards to glory!

Offline AndyF

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A tax on caving?
« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2005, 12:07:27 pm »
I'm not convinced public transport is very "green" at all.

If public transport supply is raised to the point at which it becomes useful, then Q.E.D. it's utilisation will fall, i.e. most buses driving around will only be 10% full.

Buses and trains travel even when empty. Buses and trains use a LOT of fuel. I'd have to be convinced that it's better than "on demand" car use.
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darkplaces

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A tax on caving?
« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2005, 12:49:15 pm »
Having driven in the peak district now maybe the reason they have congension is due to the silly speed limits and limitless amounts of speed cameras. All this slows people down so now you have more traffic at any one time on the roads. Also bloody idiots who feel the need to slow down to 20mph, break at every bend and put fog lights on when you get a whiff of fog. They seam to GAWP at the views rather then drive! Bloody ramblers who else would it be!

I think Andy F has a point that needs researching atleast. The last thing I want is a thirsty bus roaming with just a few passengers on. Maybe public transport should be electric or bio-fuel. Personally I would like to drive something efficant and that doesnt pump out horrid fumes (when I'm changing at the rear of the car with the engine going) however it costs too much £2000 to convert my car to LPG, my car is over 5 years old so the goverment wont do a grant.

cavefungi

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A tax on caving?
« Reply #54 on: December 13, 2005, 02:44:07 pm »
Now this is a touchy subject. Especially as it involves the 'Draconian' Peak Park Authority.
I am sorry, but this body is probably the most follish of all the National Parks.
I am aware that The Peak is the second most visited NP in the world, after Mt Fuji, Japan. Sadly though, the Peak, seem to want to stop people coming here.
They have systematically removed classic parking areas, installed pay machines everywhere else. They are restrictive to local business and are trying to restrict access across the Park. They are also responsible for the monstrosity that is Castletons new visitor centre!!!!
Other NP's actively encourage tourism, in Northumberland, there are loads of free car parks, that are well sign posted. They actively encourage visitors and try to look after them.
There are many area's of the Peak that are 'over subscribed', but equally there are loads of area's where no-one ever goes.
The Peak also represents an important trans and sub-pennine road network. Will all motorists, just passing through have to pay? Its a god awful long way round!!!!!!
Imagine, if Cornwall CC decided to charge people to enter their county! Each year they suffer horrible congestion from tourists during the summer. But, do they deter people from coming?
Do they try and generate additional income by introducing toll roads?
In a nutshell, No they don't! They understand the benefits that tourism generates.
Charging people to enter The Peak has been talked about for a long time and it may well be yet.
I just hope that the NPA see sense and try to do the right thing.
For the record I live in one of The Peaks, fairly hotspots and all opinions are those of myself.
CF. :twisted:

Offline Pitlamp

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« Reply #55 on: December 16, 2005, 06:51:53 pm »
Emily Davies, the Transport Policy Manager for the Peak District National Park, has advised me that there are "currently no plans to implement an environmental levy".  However, apparently Derbyshire County Council recently made a bid for Government funding to investigate the implications of an environmental levy but were turned down.  (No doubt the main implication they are really interested in would be an ability to extract cash from everyone includibng hard up cavers.)  It is felt that DCC could submit a similar bid for Government funding next year though, so we really need to watch this one.

I have to say that, having taken the trouble to contact "officialdom" about this iniquitous idea, Emily Davies has been extremely helpful and informative.  It seems that the National Park will enter into dialogue if given reasoned arguments (as opposed to unconstructive abuse) so if ever this spectre seriously raises its ugly head - best get writing folks.  Contact details are easily accessible from the PDNP's website.

Offline AndyF

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« Reply #56 on: December 19, 2005, 04:24:21 pm »
Quote from: "pitlamp"
Emily Davies, the Transport Policy Manager for the Peak District National Park, has advised me that there are "currently no plans to implement an environmental levy".  


Well done for making the contact, it's good to get an official comment.

However... call me a cynical old b***d (which people do) and I'd have to say the comment doesn't stand analysis.

Firstly, there clearly IS a plan. One got sent to govenrment. It may not get approved, but there IS a plan...  My guess is wasn't done without knowledge or approval of the Peak Park, so who in that organisation was invloved. The Guardian quoted on "Anne Ashe"....   The document is called The Upper Derwent Valley Road User Charging Scheme and is mentioned at:

http://www.cfit.gov.uk/congestioncharging/factsheets/uk/

..so someone has a plan.... the statement is at best ambiguous in this respect.

Then you look at the exact wording "currently no plans to implement an environmental levy" Well, this is a bit like the governement saying the Health Service will be free at the point of use, what the hell does the second clause mean? It's the words of politicians allowing a get-out. Someone will say one day "it's not an environmental levy it's a congestion charge" (so I didn't lie).

Now lets look at another quote:

Jim Dixon, chief executive of the park authority, said: "People go to the park because of its beauty, attracted by a sense of solitude. Whenever we consider doing nothing, it always comes down to the same thing - there will be more cars.

" He added that the scheme would only go ahead after consultation with the park's 38,000 residents. "Even a small fee would enable us to invest a considerable amount of money in public transport," he said.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/12/05/ncharge105.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/12/05/ixhome.html

So is there a plan or not...? Hmmm  :? You decide...
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Offline Pitlamp

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« Reply #57 on: December 19, 2005, 06:03:19 pm »
I still can't understand though why national park authorities go to such great lengths to encourage people to go to them.  If there is concern about visitor numbers then surely they ought to keep quiet and then only those who really want to visit will go there.

Also, if as Andy says they intend to contact the residents (as opposed to those who would presumably be lumbered with paying this spurious environmental charge) no doubt the scheme would be massively "popular" as council tax payers might be led to believe it would save them money.

I still detect a significant whiff of rodent.

Offline AndyF

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« Reply #58 on: December 19, 2005, 10:20:37 pm »
I don't know if the residents are that gulable, there are only three major industries in the Peak, tourism, quarrying and sheepfarming. Sheepfarming is in terminal decline, quarrying has a finite life. Tourism is THE major source of income.

Most people know that the effect of charging would be catastrophic. If it isn't, then, QED, it isn't worth doing (!). There is NO WAY public transport is going to help. No tourist is going to drive to the edge of the Peak with their caravan, tents, mountain bikes, parscenders and whatever else they bring, and transfer to a bus. Its just not going to happen. What they will do is go somewhere else. If the other parks follow suit, then parity will be restored and everyone will drive and pay, so no reduction in traffic (!).

The Peak Park authority is unelected, you can't get rid of them. It is their unaccountability that gets to me.. :evil: London voted for a party on a congestion charge manifesto, the Peak Park board don't consider that you require the same democratic right on any matter.... I'm not interested in a "consultation", I want to be able to vote the b*****s out.....

</rant>
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Offline SamT

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A tax on caving?
« Reply #59 on: December 19, 2005, 11:14:56 pm »
please dont forget the good things that the peak park do. Like limit quarrying, regulate house building, fight for open access to land etc etc.

I am pig sick of hearing people (and mainly the ones that happen to live fantastically gorgeous unspoilt villages in the peak) slagging the peak park off. you cant have it both ways - if you suddenly want to live amongst motorways/factorys/quarrys/wharehouses/estates/high rise towers/multistorey car parks/retail parks/shopping centers  etc etc the go on - campagne to rid us those 'bastards' (as you put it).

Expect no - your complaining that a few tourists park in your village at the weekend.

"vote the bastards out" - silliest thing ive read on this forum

Offline AndyF

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« Reply #60 on: December 20, 2005, 09:32:02 am »
Hi Sam,

I know the Peak do do a lot of good, BUT they also have a considerable  record of totally unreasonable, dictatorial and downright brainless actions.

My comment reflects that this authority is totally unaccountable to the people whose lives they affect. Why is this? Would you accept a local council that you couldn't elect? Of course not...so why should anyone accept the Peak Authority imposed on us.

A friend of mine has recently been ordered to stop parking his vehicle at his house, on his own drive which is half a mile down a track. Vehicles have been parked there for decades. Now he's been told he has to prove that it's been used like that for 7 years. It's cost him time, stress, money on solicitors and is a total waste of taxpayers money. Thats just a small example..  This is the sort of thing that an out-of-control bureaucratic organisation does.

So yes, I want these people to be accountable. I want to get to vote on their policies, like I can for a council, and have some genuine choices, not have policy imposed by the whim of a bureaucrat. And when/if they misbehave, yes, I want to vote them out and replace them with people who have policies that reflect what the people who live here want. I want policies that encourage business, and let the park area grow and prosper, rather than be run as a mothballed tourist attraction...

GRRRR!!
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