Ducked wrote:The sophisticated algorithm/instrumentation would be required if you wanted your toll charge to directly reflect the amount of damage done on a given journey. Do try and keep up.
Or trucks could simply be charged based on loading and distance travelled. I have been keeping up as this was my suggestion.
Ducked wrote:As Abacus points out below, the loaded/unloaded thing will average out anyway.
Please read above. Regardless of the average fuel consumption of a truck, less fuel consumed results in a higher degree of road damage. Are you still trying to suggest that a lower tax to trucks is necessary when they consume less fuel and create more damage? That doesn't seem like an effective method at all to me. In fact, quite the opposite.
Ducked wrote:If you want to charge in direct proportion to the damage done, then the truck toll rate will have to be what, 5,000 times the car rate?
As you say, it is impossible to determine the exact amount of damage done, and I haven't suggested that we use any complicated algorithms in order to conduct a basic road tax. Its a given that such vehicles as tanks and trucks create more damage to the road than cars. It should then be a given that these types of vehicles must be charged their fare share for road usage. I think that there is a distinct enough difference between an articulated truck and a five door passenger car for example. If I were a road construction company and toll collector, then I would charge my customers according to their demand, the same way in which most products are charged. You can suppose what that rate might be, but it depends largely on the companies which would be maintaining the road.
As a car owner, do I want to be subsidizing trucks for their road usage? Well I subsidize them anyway whenever I purchase a product which was transported by a truck. This is how direct subsidization works.
Ducked wrote:Might be some political/environmental fallout from that, unless the car rate is very, very low.
Well calculating costs per vehicle, per distance travelled only passes on the cost of road building and maintenance to the motorist. If that discourages some motorists from driving, then so be it, but subsidizing roads through indirect taxes is only creating or supporting a less efficient and direct form of taxation. This method does not reward fuel efficiency, and does not reward trucking companies who use more efective routes and transportation plans.
Ducked wrote:Trucks don't use the M6 bypass because they won't pay, so a damage-based truck rate is likely to force trucks off the motorways on to (currently "free") surface roads.
Trucks might not use the M6 simply because not all roads have tolls, so they can use other roads free of charge. In some cases, using a less direct route which costs more fuel may offset the cost of the toll. Public roads however are not directly subsidized proportionately by trucking companies. This is why it's cheaper for trucks to destroy them and then have the rest of the public pay for it.
I have experienced first hand the devastating effect of a trucking company's operations on a small public road as I used to live next to one
, both before and after they started operations.
We used to have a road which didn't cause our cars to tram and require early suspension replacement. The local council couldn't repair the stretch of road often enough because they didn't have the budget.