5 Nov 2008 15:00:12

James Duddridge on car registration plates

James_duddridgeJames Duddridge, MP for Rochford & Southend East, introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill in the Commons today, to relax the rules on personalised car registration plates.

He told

"Speaking to the police there are issues of number plate recognition and I thought it was ironic that we weren't allowed to have for example ESSEX, but you were allowed E55EX, and surely using the proper words such as JAMES or ESSEX makes it more memorable and easier to recognise."

Mr Duddridge says that the sale of personalised registration plates raised over £86million for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in 2007/08. In the event of his bill being successful, he expects the DVLA to earn well over £100million in the first year:

"It will raise money, it’s deregulatory and there aren't that many things in life you can do that everyone is in agreement on, raises money and doesn't cause too many problems."

Speaking to ConservativeHome, Mr Duddridge said that his bill had the support of a number of former Transport ministers, and that Jim Fitzpatrick, current Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, promised he is considering the proposal seriously.

He added that far from being a bill just for the rich, liberalising the law to enable people to spend £300,000 on a registration plate will act as a "voluntary tax" which will raise large sums for the Treasury.

All that's left to add is the following message to Mr Duddridge:


20 Oct 2008 14:55:36

Government ineptitude on driving bans

Villiers_theresa_2It is a frequent surprise to see what information Government ministers cannot lay their hands on. Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers has unearthed one example with a written parliamentary question:

"Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many driving bans were served concurrently with prison sentences in each region of England and Wales in (a) each of the last 10 years and (b) 2008 to date.

Maria Eagle: Although the court proceedings data held by my Department provides information on the sentencing of individuals for individual offences, including whether they are disqualified from driving as a result of those offences, it does not hold information on whether each person is already banned from driving when sentence is passed."

Driving bans exist not only to protect the public but to punish people. Needless to say, a driving ban is a comparatively minor inconvenience to a prison inmate. It seems extraordinary that the Government can't break this one down for us.