The Congestion Charge

    Starting Monday the 17th of February, the London transport system will be hit with its biggest single change in many years. Mayor Ken Livingston has decided to introduce the congestion charge, which means that people will have to pay to drive their cars into Central London, one of the busiest cities in the world. People will have to pay
  • It sounds like a good idea to me, with one exception. They should take a look at the income brackets of people, and those under a certain amount of anual income should pay half. Or less in some way. Not sure how hard that would be to do, to figure out the incomes and all that...... gosh, what a mess!!!!!

    No way to impose HOV lanes is there? Too late for that now!? (HOV= High Occupancy Vehicles) Like, special lanes for vehicles with ONLY two or more occupants. To encourage mass transit or car-pooling. (shared driving).

    We've got those in our area and they seem to work rather nicely.
  • Good idea.
    People should use public transportations more oftenly.
    Or walk, but London's pretty big so...
  • Oops I pressed the wrong button. In any case I think that it's a good idea but is the public transport jacking up the prices? I know they are here but what else is new?
  • In other parts of the country, there are trial schemes for HOV lanes, but I'm not sure how they're getting on.

    On the other hand, the government has introduced bus lanes to motorways (Highways?). There is no point of this, as the motorways are so busy.

    Adjusting the charge for people with different salary brackets would probably not work, and people drive other peoples cars, rent cars and so on - it would just get too confusing. Everyone can now have a car, as they cost so little - less than
  • Suze, you mentioned income brackets... the problem with income brackets is this. One man made $39,999.00 last year, the next guy made $40,003 last year. Why should the first guy pay half when he only made 4 dollars less then the second guy. I hate income brackets. :angry:

    I find it hard to see this since I live in a small Canadian city where the streets are large enough to accommodate the traffic which it gets. Plus there is room for widening of the roads if need be.

    Has there been any discussion in decreasing the charge for public transportation? I mean with this extra funding coming in they could certainly afford to drop the price of the bus. Even 10% as an incentive to take the bus over driving and paying the Congestion Charge.

    Plus isn't the price of gas over the pond outrageous? That is definitely another incentive.
  • Hey Rex I live in one of Canda's biggest city if not the biggest. The city planner should have been shot and pi$$ed on when he/she were desinning (sp?) the roads.

    One example: during business hours there are close to 5 million people in the size of a small town driving which is enough to make even the most calmest person go banana's.

    There was a study done resently for the drive home in this city which stated that the average commuter takes about 3 hours to get home from work whereas in the 80's and 90's it was 1.5 hours and 2 hours (respectively). What these "so called" planners have decided to do is jack up the price of gas and allowed the ONLY mass transpit system in the city jack up the price of the tickects. Instead of (I'm no planner but just using some common sense)
    i) making another highway to releive the conjestion on the two highway's leading into the city maybe running right through the downtown area. I know that Boston is trying to do that by making the highway run underground.
    ii) having another mass transit system to give the ONLY mass transpit system some competion to lower there fare. I know some parts in Europe (namely Athens, Greece) have several mass transpit companies and there always in competion.

    So what does the city do instead they have introduced (years ago) the car pool lane well there's a good WASTE of a useful road lane. In other words: More poeple let's get rid of a lane. Oh and they did one more thing they introduced a bicycle lane as well; again making the road more narrow and in some cases getting rid of a lane. These guys are ginuses (sp?)
  • Although I am not personally familiar with the nuances of the "congestion charge" as described, I am against it. It to me sounds nothing more than another way for politicians to reach into our pockets and take more of our hard-earned monies.

    Instead of making the working man/woman pay the price, why don't the town councils/political officials charge the businesses/land developers that create all this new growth and overcrowding to pay up? :angry:
  • Well, from what i'm reading in the paper right now, it worked, there is very little traffic, at least in the photos we get in Mexico. I think it's a good idea, it will encourage people to use public transport. I don't now the minimun wage in the UK, or the percentage income percapita, but it does seems a bit to expensive. Belive me you don't want to end like Mexico city, with that much traffic and polution.

    If it does work they are planning to use in Mexico city, but the price will be significantly less. That's why i hope it does work, the traffic here it's unberable, and we don't have enough public transport for the size of the city(largest in the world). But it is the cheapest public transport around the world in a big metropolis. So with the money they are planning to get from the congestion charge, tehy will build a better and bigger public transport system.

    We have an alternate program, it's called "A day without car" If you have an older car model(5 years or more i think) you can't circulate for 1 day a week, it depends on the last number of your license plate.

    So i think the congestion charge will be better.
  • The day has come and passed, and London has never been so quiet.

    Central london was deserted on monday, with barely any traffic. Some people believe that
  • I don't mind what they do, they will make a lot of money too! I hope they do what is right.