Future Vehicle Congestion Charge

I believe we should prepare for the potential influx of holidaymakers in the future, and consider some way of restricting visitor numbers to Scotland's rural and tourist areas. Could we introduce a residents permit for private vehicles based on DVLA vehicle registration address.
For example a tiered system of permits (and charges?) for private cars and leisure vehicles could be:
- local residents: access to travel within a certain area of Scotland,
- Scottish residents: a national 'pass' allowing unrestricted access to the whole of Scotland
- vehicles from the rest of the UK: higher charges (tourist tax); there would be a limit on the number of these permits issued at any one time
- vehicles registered overseas, rental cars/motorhomes/campervans could be subject to specific conditions
Commercial vehicles would in principle be exempt for non-leisure use.

Similar systems are in place elsewhere. For example,
- in Switzerland, non-residents must apply for a travel permit which is usually stuck in the vehicle windscreen.
- in London there is a congestion charge to dissuade vehicles from entering the city centre. And
- areas of Gemany have local tourist taxes, to support those economies and infrastructures.

We have the vehicle recognition technology on many of our roads, and a physical permit in a vehicle windscreen or would also be a clear indication of a vehicle's permission to travel.

Why the contribution is important

It is foreseeable that foreign holidays travel from the UK will be severely restricted for a long time to come, and even when airports and ferry ports reopen, it is likely that many more people in densely populated areas in all parts of the UK will prefer to holiday 'at home' and will head for Scotland. We all know that such an influx of people will result in chaos, for many obvious reasons, not least of which would be the risk of infection spread. I also fear that there could be huge numbers of people visiting Scotland's remote ares, who may be unfamiliar with the long-established expectations we have about respecting the environment.

by BnB on May 09, 2020 at 03:51PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.3
Based on: 6 votes


  • Posted by HelenMM May 09, 2020 at 20:59

    As an individual living in a tourist area and being petrified of catching Covid 19 your idea might seem great. As an individual running a small business in a town where trade heavily relies on tourism i completely oppose to the idea.

    Give a thought to the economic impact. Scotland relies greatly on tourism. This idea would plummet the already massively struggling industry (as Covid 19 outbreak has decreased tourism/hospitality industry close to 0) to exceptional depths. Do you really want to see further unemployment and all the issues related to that, e.g. mental and physical health deteriorating, economy plummeting, peoples welfare and standard of living decreasing.. Also if you have high unemployment, there will not be anyone paying taxes and taking more out of the system than is put in will result in less funds coming to the region and the locals and local communities will struggle as councils will get less funds. And what about all the small businesses that will have to permanently close their doors? Parking in tourist areas is already an issue and introducing permits would reduce the footfall even more.

    Holidays within UK have always been popular, what would make these holiday makers more likely to cause trouble? We are all in this together, nobody goes round deliberately coughing on people and spreading a potentially deadly virus. As long as we all adhere to the latest and hopefully most up to date advice we would be able to both decrease the spread of Covid 19 and start repairing the economy.
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