I see that Bob Kiley, that non elected, unaccountable, non Londoner, Non Brit in charge of London's transport has now contradicted the elected Mayor by saying that any review of the Congestion Charging will not take place for at least a year and possible not be changed for 5 years. I wonder who's in charge of what over at city hall.
A word of warning about Southwark's so-called 'consultation process'. Zone C (roughly Bankside to Elephant & Castle) was split into two earlier this year (C1 and C2). Permits for Zone C were therefore invalid and had to be upgraded to either C1 or C2. I had only recently bought my 12-month C Zone permit, and at the time no one advised me it would be invalid within a month. I continued using it until I got a parking ticket. I had to contest the ticket and was then told by Southwark that they'd done extensive consultation on the subject, they'd written individually to all C permit owners and put leaflets on the windscreens of cars still bearing old permits advising them of the changes. No one I've spoken to in my street knows anything about this consultation, nor the local tenants and residents association. And in fact at one point when I called the Council, I was told my old permit would be valid for the remainder of the 12 months and then I'd need to change it. So it's either no information or mis information. And I don't think it's just an isolated incident: while I was in the Parking Shop, two other residents from elsewhere in the zone came in with the same story. Thankfully, after the intervention from my very helpful local councillors I got the ticket withdrawn. However, no one can explain to me how Southwark can sell a permit for 12 months to park in a given area and then a few months later cut that area in half, without giving a refund or compensation. But frankly I can't be bothered to fight it anymore.
I know what you mean about C1 and C2 - I was away for a month when this "extensive consulation" took place (mid March to mid April - just when I was out the country). Anyway - it seems that in mid March they sent out letters about it, and in mid April they did it - so when I came back from holiday I had 5 tickets for five consecutive days (total fine £400) on my car. Good to see Southwark's using scare resources to tackle the real issues again. Anyway - I did challenge it, and they kept on saying I was going to have to pay, so I said fine, lets do this through the appeals process (it would have been a Saturday morning, but for £400 worth it). Anyway, the minute I said I was willing to go in front of the arbitrator in person, they wrote back and said they were willing to forget about it.
Funny enough - this happened to me last time I complained about a ticket in Fulham - they threaten up to the point of the arbitrator, then they back down. You might want to think about that before you pay up - and what's more, by complaining you extend your discount period (£40 instead of £80), so improve your cashflow and make loads of work for the useless Council [well - they did insist on the stupidity of putting it on 5 tickets on top of each other on a car parked down a side-street]
Which brings me onto congestion charging - hurrah for the 90% discount. I am looking forward to buying my 5 day pass (apparently they are not selling daily discounted passes because the Crapita system couldn't cope with so much data). I am going to start driving everywhere then - I scarcely use my car these days, but with emptier streets and having stumped up for the 5-day pass, it seems the ideal time for me to get some ues out of my Motor. Ken - you dunce - quick lesson on economics - you might want to look up "fixed costs" and "marginal cost pricing" in a text book.
Bring it on!!!!!!!! I cant wait for congestion charging to start! Hurray for Ken indeed. The car-less centre in the aftermath of Saturday's Lord Mayor's Parade was a dream - like something out of Vanilla Sky or 28 Days Later. There is nothing better than a bicycle.
I think you're wrong. Ken's an idiot - that's generally accepted. Congestion charging is a good idea - yes. This method is a half-witted rush-job, installed by Capita which will fall down I reckon within 6 months - people won't pay, won't get caught and the thing will be a shambles. Meanwhile, in the zone, I'm going to be driving like a man possessed (used to walk and ride everywhere, but given I now have to buy a weekly pass...) So much for your Vanilla Sky / 28 Days Later. More like Pie in the Sky, 28 Hangovers Later
You've missed my point entirely - what i have consistently tried to set out in my arguments before, and what I was trying to do was parody the point to the extreme - of course I am not going to do this, but by imposing a large FIXED cost and no VARIABLE cost on driving in London, that is exactly the message the mayor is sending. As I have said before, less haste more speed - try to look at systems like Singapore, Seattle, technology based solutions that actually work. A camera and paper system is primitive in the extreme - why are we doing this when trials of smart cards have already taken place in Birmingham, M6.
Sorry if you've taken offence, but I think it will be more offensive to you when people do take the attitude I've set out - as your reply demonstrates. I am not a car nut (read above - I always walk and cycle whenever I can) but this system and its rushed implementation doesn't work in the best interests of pedestrians and cyclists - there are unfortunately bloody minded people who will think - well if I am having to pay a fiver a day, I'm sure going to get my money's worth. Like it or not, there are people out there like that, and that is the flaw of the proposed methodology, and therein, my criticism and reason for posting.
I wish people could for a moment seperate the ideology and the mechanism. I believe in the ideology - I am really worried about the way they want to achieve it.
Sorry James but you are wrong. I do have the right to drive my car where I want, when I want. I pay my road tax and insurance. I paid my VAT on the car itself. I pay duty on the fuel I put in it, and now I will pay the congestion charge when entering the zone. It's all about choice.