6:17 AMManningham Resorts to Bullying
A while ago I wrote an article 'It's all your fault' which explained how the growing traffic congestion problems at Doncaster Hill were entirely the fault of Manningham Council.
In brief, I mentioned that Manningham Council commissioned GTA Consultants around 2012 to produce a report on possible traffic congestion problems that might arise at Doncaster Hill.
The report was dated August 3, 2012 and had the title "Review of Parking and Traffic Management Within Doncaster Hill".
The GTA report made it quite clear that (and I quote the report):
In short, Manningham Council knew full well back in 2012 (and probably earlier which is why they commissioned the report) that if they persisted with their plans for high density development at Doncaster Hill and the old Eastern Golf Links course, there would be significant traffic congestion problems at Doncaster Hill. Also they knew there was precious little they could do about these traffic congestion problems.
So what did Manningham Council do? They ignored the GTA report and went ahead and did what they wanted anyway.
And now they are in a panic over the traffic congestion problems at Doncaster Hill.
In my previous article, I also made the point that the 'non traditional' methods of enticing people to use public transport would probably not work. Indeed the whole program did not get off to a good start when the Manningham Leader newspaper pointed out the essential silliness of the scheme by putting a bus stop with a watermelon on top on their front page and referring to the whole idea as 'fruity'.
You see Manningham Council wanted to encourage us to use public transport by making bus stops a talking point and fun to use (see Manningham Leader, 11 April 2016, page 1).
I also made the point that Manningham Council did not accept responsibility for the traffic mess they have created at Doncaster Hill and are trying to blame the problem on 'we the people'. Their idea is that we are at fault because we like driving our cars.
I said that when their ill conceived program to make bus stops more attractive fails, as it no doubt will, they will look for ways of punishing road users and bullying us into doing what they want. That is, use public transport.
And that is were we are right now.
Manningham Council, having failed as town planners, are now trying to bully us to do what they want.
So what is Manningham Council planning to do?
In the June 20, 2016 Manningham Leader newspaper we get a clue of what they are planning. See page 9 "Road Fees Reality".
This article puts forward the idea of a congestion charge, similar to that used in London, be applied to congested roads in and around Melbourne.
Basically you will pay a fee of around $1 per kilometer when you travel on 'congested' roads.
The problems at Doncaster Hill are not mentioned specifically in this article but it does say that these levies would not just be applied to inner city Melbourne but would be applied to 'any busy road'. Also it says that 'congestion pricing' is the only way forward.
I think the Manningham Leader may be doing the bidding of the council. (After all, the Manningham Leader does receive financial support from Manningham Council.)
The Manningham Leader would never dare mention the congestion at Doncaster Hill in this article because most of us have a pretty good idea who caused that disaster. So instead the article talks in generalities. And we are simply left to understand that the problems at Doncaster Hill would be included in the Congestion fee scheme.
It must be wonderful to be in government.
If a private company were to cause a similar traffic congestion disaster, the matter would probably end up in court.
But that will not happen if the government does it. Council's can be arrogant, irresponsible and/or utterly incompetent. And when things go wrong, they do what government usually does. They refuse to accept any responsibility and blame someone else.
This time the public is being blamed. And now they are going to bully us around and get us to do what they want. They are going to quite literally make us pay to fix up the mess they created by forcing a new tax on us.
And this congestion fee would be a new tax. Please allow me to explain.
You will notice that they do not plan to implement an 'odds and even' number plate system as has been used in parts of the USA. That would solve the problem and not require any fees be levied upon the public.
No, what Manningham Council wants is money, always more money. They have opted for the solution that puts money in their pockets. Even though they are entirely to blame for the problem.
And to add insult to robbery they claim, in this news article, that the fees will be used in part to improve roads.
But remember what the GTA report said. There was almost nothing the council could do to widen roads or improve traffic flow through Doncaster Hill. So it would appear this congestion fee money the council would collect will be spent mostly on other roads.
That's right. These 'congestion fees' are just another tax the council plans to levy on us.
Unlike private enterprise, the more the government makes a mess of things, the more excuses they can find to tax us. And the more they reward themselves with pay rises.
As I said before, it must be wonderful working in the government.
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