CONGESTION CHARGING IN LONDON
New C Day: 19th February 2007
This page archived August 2008
CC LONDON is a useful site. CC presumably stands for Congestion Charging.
Try the TRANSPORT FOR LONDON site. This is excellent for the information you would need on the issue of Congestion charging. There are several useful sections: a range of Fact sheets, some FAQs, key statistics. There are also a series of MAPS.
Edinburgh votes NO to congestion charge by 3-1 against.
40 000 vehicles an hour drove into the congestion charging zone before the charge was introduced. Over 1 million vehicles entered the zone each morning.
Try also THIS IS LONDON. It's the site of the Evening Standard and has some useful press articles which are illustrated: you can click on them to read a range of views.
Try also KEEP LONDON FREE.
People who drive Reliant Robins are not exempt after all as 3 WHEELERS explains.
Try also LONDON CONGESTION CHARGES.
Also BEAT CONGESTION.
And CONGESTION CHARGING.
There was an excellent article in The Guardian on 3rd of January 2003 which looked at a range of issues, and this has been followed up by most of the other newspapers too. The Daily Mail is featuring what it calls a COUNTDOWN TO CHAOS.
Below are links to some other websites:
The one that I used was featured on LDN: London Daily News. When the local news magazines come onto BBC1 on Sky Digital, I receive London Daily News. This, not surprisingly, has regular updates on the countdown to congestion charging, and I've started putting a video tape in the machine so that when these items come on I can tape them into a compilation. The last item featured a campaign which features actress (or are they all 'actors' now..) Samantha Bond who lent her support to the campaign against the charge.
The TES also featured an item on teachers who may be forced to quit their jobs as they can't afford the charge on top of the other costs of living in London.
The Federation of Small Businesses are against the scheme for a number of reasons:
It is indiscriminate: a flat rate tax which has the unfairness of the Poll Tax
There is not sufficient public transport to account for people who are going to avoid using the car.
The effect on road use is unknown: the Mayor has already said that the scheme could be abandoned "within 8 weeks of opening" if it was seen to not be working
There will be a lot of financial outlay for small businesses. If deliveries are to be made before the congestion charge comes into force, the small business person will have to be there...
The scheme will cause hardship to lower paid workers
Many people doubt there will be much of an impact on air quality and pollution.
There are some good responses to the issue at ANGRY COURIERS site. This is for couriers who want to let off steam.
How are people able to escape the penalties (How could some of these be 'discouraged', or accounted for)
Suggested problems (think about what might be done about these...)
Think about a situation where properties a couple of hundred of yards apart are different as one is inside the barrier, one is outside. What advantages does each have ?
The main problem is to persuade those who have a choice to use their car or not that the latter option may be the best - financially as well as environmentally.
Why will people who live outside the area and don't have to travel into the centre still have to PAY for the introduction of congestion charging.
A research project from the EU has looked into the issue of private car owners and their obsession with their cars. People are very reluctant to 'let go' of their cars.
There are some other cities which are already charging to enter areas of the city. Durham has introduced a charge to pass along a particular street up towards the Cathedral. This is apparently having a negative impact on the area, and various people have been given exemptions. This will happen in London of course - the most controversial of which is that Mayor Ken Livingstone (who I once sat next to on the Tube..) will not have to pay as he has an expense account, and will take taxis, which are themselves exempt from the charge.
Cities which have a congestion charge are:
Article in 'The Sunday Times' in August 2004 about Derek Turner, the architect of the Congestion charging project. He is now working on similar projects in other cities, which are identified as: Cardiff, Dublin, Bristol and Edinburgh in the UK, and Stockholm, Auckland, Sao Paulo and Copenhagen.
In the run up to the start of the scheme, many papers ran features on the charges, and of course since the start I have started to build up quite a bulging file of articles. Some include the news that the Mayor himself will not be paying the charge as he uses black cabs, which are exempt from the congestion charge
Some papers and other sources have suggested ways of avoiding paying the charge. Here are a few examples.
Register your car abroad
Move into the centre of London (warning, this may cost you more than the congestion charge...)
Drive a breakdown vehicle registered with the major organisations. Buy an AA van.
Buy a motorcycle or scooter (apparently there has been a surge of interest in the latter). Bicycles will also be exempt of course.
Vehicles with more than 9 seats don't have to pay, so buy an old bus...
Get some illegal plates for your car. These are called 'spider' plates. There are also plate shields available - LCD displays which you can use to black out the plate as you pass the cameras - these are illegal too...
Rub mud onto your license plates (warning, this is illegal)
You could avoid travelling into the area between 7am and 6.30pm - why not get to work early and come home late, you may even get promoted.
The Tube is exempt of course, so watch out for problems parking around tube stations just around 'the zone'.
Watch out for the new 'C' road markings and also the payment machines which have already sprung up around 'the zone'.
Pressure on essential workers, including teachers, who may quit their job rather than face a levy of over £1000 a year to travel into work in their car.
Some alternative routes will see a dramatic increase in traffic following the introduction of charges.
Congestion Charging Odd One Out
£8 a day £2 a day £40 for a five day week
3-Wheeler cars Black taxicabs Mayor Ken Livingstone
Produce a list of terms in groups of 3 and one of them is the ODD ONE OUT...
20 MPH ZONES
A related issue to traffic congestion is the issue of 'rat-runs' and speeding through residential areas.
There has been a move towards the introduction of 20 mph zones in parts of cities. This has been proved to reduce accidents and save lives as drivers have the chance to react to situations and brake in time. There may be local objections however.
Clearly signs are not enough. A recent SUSTRANS mailing to schools starts off with this very issue. Speed humps
One alternative also is Prince Phillip's suggestion: "ban tourists".
CONGESTION CHARGE EXPANSION: February 2007
This has now been expanded into a larger area of central London and people here now have to pay £8. Covers the areas of:
Belgravia and Pimlico
Residents get a 90% discount, and scheme ends at 6pm. There are 2 free routes through the congestion zone.
There are £100 fines for people who drive through without paying. Concerned at the congestion on Shepherd's Bush roundabout and other places where signs could be obstructed by large trucks, or people getting in the wrong lane might end up in the zone.
TfL issues over 21 000 £100 fines per week.
RETURN TO TRANSPORT PAGE