Keltruck’s Chairman & MD, Chris Kelly, has written to The Birmingham Post opposing the introduction of congestion charging in the West Midlands.

Democracy and Centro

Dear Editor, So now we have it, evidence if it were again needed that democratic opinion is not worth a jot when it comes to Centro and its headlong pursuit of driving us off the roads in this region, whilst wanting to tax those that can least afford it, proportionally the most too (Support for road pricing in West Midlands, Post March 27).

With a whopping vote of 46 members of the public, plus 100 from so called “stakeholders” (no doubt including one or two quangos), and also 29 “organisations” (presumably ‘businesses’ in plain man’s speak), our rulers conclude that this is their green light to proceed.

As I have written in the past, this is exactly the same tactic that Centro has used so successfully in the past to give themselves the go ahead for their Local Transport Plan. The plan many business folk feel has been responsible for much of the congestion we have today.

But what total arrogance to not properly publicise their so-called consultation process for something so very important, and to get less than 200 responses, and then conclude that the way ahead is clear.

I attended Centro’s Dudley consultation meeting, and there were only ten business folk present. I brought along one of the most prominent businessmen in the area, Roy Richardson, as not even he previously knew of the meeting. Afterwards I called 20 other prominent business folk, and not one knew of the meeting.

This is democracy as Centro sees it, evidently afraid of the real response, they hide behind poorly publicised public meetings, and then quote that over 50% are in favour – meaning less than 120 votes in total for the whole of the West Midlands.

As you pointed out, that good man Peter Roberts, describing himself as “an ordinary chap from Telford”, managed to get a staggering 1.8 million votes against congestion charging, and yet with less than 200 responses in total, Centro concludes that that is good enough to go forward with their plans.

We really are a bunch of fools in this region to stand for this sort of so-called democracy.

Chairman and MD
Keltruck Ltd

Andrew Bentley, MInst SMM
Head of Vehicle Contracts and Marketing