Road-charging protest crashes PM's website

Online petition passes 1.3 million mark...
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor

Online petition passes 1.3 million mark...

The Downing Street website crashed this week under the strain of anti-road-charging protestors rushing to sign an online petition.

The e-petition, which urges people to oppose the controversial pay-per-mile road-charging plans announced by the government last year, has now passed the 1.3 million signature mark with a week left to go. The volume of people trying to sign up on Monday evening briefly brought down Number 10's website.

Downing Street launched the online petition facility on its website last November, allowing anyone to start a petition as long as it is not offensive. Peter Roberts, author of the road-charging petition, is calling for the government to scrap the plan saying the idea of tracking every vehicle at all times is "sinister and wrong".

But Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander has accused the people behind the protest of spreading myths about the plans.

Photos: Germany's road-charging tech

See shots of the road-charging tech used on Germany's autobahns here.

The government's proposed road-charging scheme could see drivers charged up to £1.30 per mile using GPS 'black box' technology to track and record their journeys.

As of this week there were almost 3,000 active petitions on the website but the anti-road-charging petition has proved so popular that one unnamed minister has been reported as calling the person in government who came up with the e-petition idea "a prat".

Among the obvious petitions on the Downing Street website about healthcare and education are less serious ones calling for any teenager caught "vandalising or upsetting" to be locked up, and all the roofs in the UK to be painted white.

The plans for a 'pay-as-you-drive' scheme, which a government-backed report claims would tackle congestion and raise £28bn, have been labelled "highway robbery" by silicon.com readers.

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