London, 11 Jan 2007.
For immediate release.

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ABD Member's Petition Against Road Pricing Passes 250,000 Signatures
Massive Public Opposition to Road Tolls — and a Revolution in the Political Process. Let's make it a Million!

The petition against road pricing, set up by Shropshire ABD member Peter Roberts on the Prime Minister's website (1), today passed million signatures. It is more than ten times larger than any of the other 1700 petitions submitted to the site since it opened in November 2006, and is now being mentioned on over 1100 websites, according to search engine "Alltheweb" (2)!
 
Peter's petition states: "We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy." It can be readily found via a link on the ABD website (www.abd.org.uk).
 
"This level of support for a petition against road pricing shows that the public are massively against the whole concept," said the ABD's Nigel Humphries. "We believe it will quickly grow towards the 1 million mark as media coverage increases."
 
Peter Roberts, an account manager from Telford, Shropshire, began the petition in November, shortly after joining the ABD, and e-mailed the link to about 30 friends and colleagues. He did this entirely on his own initiative — the ABD does not have full time staff and relies on its members to drive forward campaigns on issues that motivate them. This is how the organisation works.
 
When the ABD discovered the petition and realised it had been started by a member, a banner was placed on the ABD website, which is visited by tens of thousands of people interested in transport and road safety issues. The petition passed 50,000 at Christmas, and 100,000 in the first week of 2007, as people felt strongly enough about the issue to encourage others to sign. The speed with which the 250,000 mark has been passed shows this growth is accelerating.
 
"I have always reacted strongly against the idea of paying per mile to use the roads," said Peter. "It is going to be unfair, and will limit our personal freedom and economic activity. It will be colossally expensive to implement and time consuming for drivers as they work out how to minimise the cost of their journeys — or even whether they can afford to travel at all. Road pricing has nothing to recommend it, especially when fuel duty already charges people according to how far they drive. This all seems blindingly obvious to me — so starting the petition seemed the logical thing to do."
 
Unlike traditional motoring organisations, the ABD has always taken a resolute stance against road pricing in all its forms. This position has now been fully vindicated by the scale of support for this petition amongst computer literate people.
 
"We think this petition will radically change the political scene," continued Nigel Humphries. "Hardworking people have become alienated from politics because they don't have the time or inclination to struggle with its complexities. When they do try to put their view across, rational, well argued points are fobbed off with nonsense — spin, platitudes and stonewalling. So they give up, believing the world to have gone mad. Their silence clears the way for a small number of extremists to dominate policy making with their own agendas. The e:petition initiative gives the people a new way to make their point, and to know they are not alone. We welcome this new political era."

 

 
 
NOTES FOR EDITORS
 
(1) The "e-petitions" site is designed as a "modern equivalent of the traditional petitions presented at the door of No.10."
 
(2) 'All The Web' list of web sites linking to the petition (opens in new window)

 
 
Notes for Editors about the ABD