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Congestion Charging

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Current: 12 of 21
Friday 4 October 2002 8.49am
Southwark are 'consulting' on this again later this month, its somewhere on their website. For me this is the bit no one has thought through properly and it will cause some major problems. The councils all know that because The Ring is too small it will not deter people from driving into London from 'the home counties', for the want of a better phrase. So the people who drive from Maidstone and Reading and Bedford etc will still drive but instead of driving into the centre they will want to park up and use the bus and the tube ( by the way, the bus and the tube subsidised by Londoners). So the plan will be to make all the areas around The Ring restricted parking, except for residents. But, in order to fund policing of the restricted parking areas there will be a cost and that cost will be borne by the local residents.
Wait a minute, lets get this right, in order to drive in my city where I pay higher than average council tax, housing costs etc I have to pay a charge. The same charge as those who live a long way away and don't pay higher council tax etc, etc etc..
OK you've sold me on that something has to happen. But then how do we stop the people driving in, parking all over the streets where I live. That's easy, I have to pay for a parking system to keep them out...riigghht(?) OK I understand that, but here's a question: I live on a development where each flat has a parking space with the flat number on it, how will the new parking policing system deal with that. 'Oh', said the man, almost gleefully, 'technically your parking space is private property and the Council cannot be responsible for what happens on private property, you will have to deal with that'. Methinks there will be not a few problems with this approach - but I guess Ken's thought it through, hasn't he?
Friday 4 October 2002 9.52am
hmm, since some (mine included) private parking is free of a permit charge, could the council not issue free permits to the residents, this would then enable us (and parking wardens) to distinguish who the offenders may be? Or, ok if the council will say "it's private property therefore we are not responsible for what happens on it" then perhaps I can consult my freeholder? or maybe i am forced to take the law into my own hands and starting letting peoples tyres down ?!
Friday 4 October 2002 10.06am
Now, what would happen (in practical terms please) if I were to bring a car over from Holland or France (or any other country outside of the UK), and used that to drive in and out of the congestion zone. Also what about all those buses from the continent that clog up Belvedere Road near the London Eye ?

Tuesday 8 October 2002 2.39am
...well, the subject doesn't die, does it? I sympathise with those who work in the centre who have difficult journeys to work. But London is just too full of one-person cars, and human nature being what it is, we all have excuses as to why we are the special case. Something does have to give way or nothing will ever be done, so I'm very glad that some effort is being made.

I suppose I have two points of scepticism (which I would very much like to have dispelled by anyone else on this thread)
- many of those single-user cars which contribute to the rush hours are owned by highly paid commuting city workers who will complain of the extra charge, pay it anyway and just carry on in their normal behaviour. So we'll probably only edge out the lower cash value individuals on that account. So maybe we'll achieve the required ends - but unfairly. (OK so what's new?)

- it does sound like a rather complex scheme to administer. Do we really think it will produce the expected returns, or will they all be eaten up in administration costs? If it does make any money, what will it really be used for, in concrete terms?

But overall - if it works it's a good idea - I hope it works.

ok I'm a hypocrite - I live in SE1 and I do own a car. In mitigation (didn't I say everyone always thinks they are a special case?) I only drive it when I'm transporting lots of people or lots of things. Except on very exceptional occasions, a tank of petrol lasts a month or two. I take public transport to work, my partner walks to work - we walk or take public transport for social life, that's why we moved to central London in the first place. I think local residents can do their bit too - you may want/need a car but you don't always have to use it. Public transport is better for our 'Environment' and it's cheaper too.

Commuters - I've done the "get up at 5am to go to work" thing too, so I do know what it's like. Sleep on the train, read a book, or come to think about it, do something about your terrible lifestyle - just don't drive that car all the time.
Tuesday 8 October 2002 6.54pm
just another small point, seeing as it's a new computer system thats running it and it will get vehicle info from swansea, it will break within a month thats for sure.
already talking about it on the news last night.
bet Kens already lining up his next job !!!!!!!!! :-)
Tuesday 8 October 2002 9.48pm
I agree with you about the edges of congestion charge area. Although I own a car in the area (but only use it occasionally to drive outside, I am in favour of congestion chrging in principle, which is why I would like Ken to be more flexible about the boundaries where they cause particular problems.
All this conversation is about men going to work. What about women who also work (often part time, in school hours) and whose job it is to see that children get ferried to and from school and to their after school activities often according to a schedule that involves a miracle of organisation. They may incur extra cost by having to cross the zone boundary.
The day when there are good schools, extra curricular activities, nurseries and childcare all available locally is the day when we can most of us leave our cars at home. (I have no children but teach a number of others!)
Wednesday 9 October 2002 9.35am
Why on earth do children have to be "ferried to and from school?" Have they lost the use of their legs already?
Wednesday 9 October 2002 9.45am
This is classic - what a lot of correspondence for such a boring topic - made even more boring by the fact that the chance of actually changing anything is close to zero. If London is so bad and congested, why don't you just all vote with your feet and go north or west - would solve the problem of overcrowding and house price inflation immediately. Coming from Cumbria, I can recommend Penrith - the air quality is better, the houses are cheaper and you're surrounded to countryside. Everyone looks healthier up there for very good reason. This infatuation with living in London or around London amazes me..

Change the topic please - you're clogging my email with spam
Wednesday 9 October 2002 11.20am

Poor Tom Helme - no-one is forcing you to look at this website & thread! If you are upset that too many people are posting on this thread then look away...

Personally I think the proposed congestion charge is set way too cheap - it should be doubled.

Oh, Penrith sounds good - is there a property website I can look at?

Wednesday 9 October 2002 11.30am
Hi Tom

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