08 August 2011

The PAYG Car

Sharing a bottle of white over Sunday Lunch with Mrs LEYTR as I was today, she suddenly came forward with what could be done to make car drivers view the usage of their private motor vehicle as more costly than their local bus. I was staggered - she's never come forward with anything like this before - and it made sense!

"Drivers shouldn't have to pay to fill up their cars. Instead, they should owe the cost of the tank of fuel, which should be charged to them on a journey-by-journey basis and they're not allowed to leave the car until they've paid by coins in their dashboard".

Oh for such a world. Well, probably not as I use my car occasionally when a bus is not available and wouldn't want to have to be sure I had sufficient coinage to ensure I'd not be held prisoner in it when I arrived at my destination.

But her outburst shone a light (for me, at least) as to why some people begrudge travelling on buses: cost. They consider a £3.50 day ticket as 'extortionate', when they'd commute to work and pay double that in petrol. Charge them on a journey-by-journey basis and soon they'd realise that £3.50 on the bus is actually 'quite reasonable' or at least 'comparable'.

Not that this will ever happen. Woe betide any government that tries to inconvenience our use of the private motor car.

But it would be good to see dashboard computers display how much the journey undertaken had cost the driver, in pounds and pence. They technology is there, though the driver would need to state how much the fuel cost, then the car computer would do the rest.


Dave H said...

My previous posting her vanished - suffice to say that there is a PAYG car - I use them all the time and save £'000's a year. Indeed if that Mr Osborne actually wants to boost the level of disposable income sloshing around in the Economy he should be making moves to get more households giving up car ownership and not owning a car will deliver an average of a 20% boost in household income for those who take that step.

We also need to get UK PT groups to adopt the same thinking as their other European counterparts. the station to station journey is not one made by any of their customers. They sell the full door to door package, and the Belgians - or the Walloons to be precise have delivered a full travel package sold from a single point of purchase. from the one company you can buy a bus/rail pass, lease a bike, and join a club which offers a pay as you use car 24/7 on a street near you.

Car clubs (as exist in Leeds, and other locations) have a membership who use trains more than 6 times as much as the NTS average, and use buses and cycles twice as much. A corporate car club user cut the cost of 3 leased cars (£17000/year) to £5000/year by only paying for the time they used the cars, and for the remaining time others were using these vehicles - effectively replacing 10 or more owned cars with 1 shared one.

Check out bikes too - Cyclepoint in Leeds is the first UK version of the NS facility which you'll find at around 80 major stations. Conveniently located directly outside the station it has already increased the hire bike fleet by 50% in its first year of operation, and discounting that the cost of building it has been underwritten by a grant the operation looks to be something that in the longer term could cover its costs or even make a small profit. One certain thin is that rolling off the train and immediately getting on a bike wil get you to many parts of Leeds faster than any other combination of modes.

Dave H said...

Oh and the key point - this has the finest incentive for people to take up the initiative known to mankind - saving piles of money and not a small amount of time, in getting between point A and point B