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Congestion Charging

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Anonymous User
Tuesday 20 August 2002 3.44pm
Congestion charging will transform London.

It is the most important planning decision made since the end of the war, marking an historic break from the primacy of the motor vehicle over pedestrians, cylces and residents.

Within a year of operation, it will seem like the norm anyway - let's just get on with it.
Wednesday 21 August 2002 12.40am
Max - I wish it were true that it "will transform London". But even TfL expects only a 15% reduction in traffic volumes - i.e. about the same as during school holidays. And the congestion just gets shifted to outside the zone.
Tuesday 27 August 2002 1.09pm
i do a 50 mile round trip every day from se1 to staines, to work.

i used to get the train, very convenient straight from waterloo into staines and my company is 5 mins walk from the station.

i found it highly stressful in that the trains were frequently unreliable, and unsafe. i am a woman who does shift work and am afraid to get on any type of public transport outside of peak times. there is no protection and there are very often drunken yobs on that train in the evenings.

4 years ago i paid 1600 for my season ticket which allowed me to ride the train from waterloo to staines only, no busses or tubes included. putting petrol in my car worked out cheaper for the same journey, and felt safer. the fact that the safety factor is being overlooked is beyond me. public transport is dangerous now a days, and no real steps are being taken to address this issue. (oh yeah - buses have cameras - without film in them!)

i'd happily go back to public transport if it were safe, reliable and value for money. it isn't any of these at the moment, so as far as i'm concerned, safety knows no price.

i wonder why some people are so full of joy at the prospect of paying the congestion charge? ken said he'd make a start on sorting out the congestion by coordinating the roadworks, which he's never done, in fact it seems to have have gotten worse. i've never seen so many roads works in little concentrated pockets going on at one time, in my numerous years of driving in central london.

the government glean a hefty amount from every one of us drivers every year, and we pay the highest prices for petrol in the whole world! and yet we are treated with contempt at every opportunity.

the congestion charges wont stop congestion, just move the eyesore from outside of parliaments vicinity. as long as central london 'feels' a bit better, it wont matter that the surrounding areas will be stationary.

the problem of congestion has been slowly building over the years, and although some have paid lip service, no one has actually done anything about it, oh - but wait, i'm wrong. something has and is continually being done about it isn't it? the constant narrowing of roads to assist in the creation of bottle necks, and ill phased traffic lights have helped worsen matters. The only thing ken has done, is found a way to make money out of a bad situation. and the motorist is, as always, the enemy and has to cough up, once again. if there is to be a charge, it should be from the m25 for people bringing their cars into london. londoners are extorted enough.
Tuesday 27 August 2002 1.49pm
Minx wrote:

=========
i am a woman who does shift work and am afraid to get on any type of public transport outside of peak times. there is no protection and there are very often drunken yobs on that train in the evenings.
=========

-- Women are generally a lot more afraid than is justified by the statistics. However, it's true that people need to feel safe as well as be safe. The railway companies are now realising this and the Strategic Rail Authority is pushing them to take more tangible steps e.g. cameras and more staff. See the SRA's strategic plan at http://www.sra.gov.uk/sra/publications/default.tt2

Minx also wrote:

=================
i wonder why some people are so full of joy at the prospect of paying the congestion charge?
=================

-- I don't think those who are going to pay it are full of joy. Those of us who are full of joy are the VAST MAJORITY who do NOT drive cars in central London but rely on public transport and are sick and tired of sitting on buses that are held up by selfish motorists. Even more full of joy are people like me who on moving to London made a deliberate choice not to have a motorcar. I got rid of mine 20 years ago.

Minx also wrote:

===================
the government glean a hefty amount from every one of us drivers every year, and we pay the highest prices for petrol in the whole world! and yet we are treated with contempt at every opportunity.
===================

-- Nonsense. Motorists do not pay anything like the full real costs of their use of road space, which is a finite and very expensive public resource. Try learning a bit of elementary transport economics. You could make a start at
http://www.carfree.com

Paul
Tuesday 27 August 2002 2.10pm
I just wanted to say that whilst I agree in principle with congestion charging and us all leaving our cars at work, I work shift work and there is absolutly NO WAY that I will get on a bus/tube/bicycle or walk to get home at 3.30 in the morning. Until I feel safe then I will continue to get in my car and drive.
Tuesday 27 August 2002 2.17pm
But the congestion charge won't apply at 3.30 in the morning...
Tuesday 27 August 2002 3.10pm
Paul talks about the high-principled www.carfree.com, which has the entirely laudable objective of having city centres as places for pedestrians not for motor vehicles -- it may say "car-free" on the label, but it is all about truck-free and most other motor vehicle-free as well.

I want one of those. Please.

Even though carfree's example of Venice doesn't really hold water (sorry!), the idea of the Square Mile, the West End, and/or the South Bank-to-Tower Bridge entertainment strip as wholly petrol/diesel vehicle-free areas is mind-boggling. It will pay for itself in increased tourism. You will of course have to run buses, tube and trains after 11:00pm, like they do in Venice.

Also, just think: if the Councils actually manage their own services so that the dustcarts operate out-of-hours and on LPG -- just like in other major European cities -- they will hit their pollution and congestion reduction targets straight away.

There is no "carfree" area in the proposed congestion charging scheme -- just a car-taxation area. It's expensive, it's unfair, it's ineffective and it's just another political con-trick.

How is Ken going to reduce congestion and pollution? By driving diesel camera vans around SE1 all day long.
Jai
Tuesday 27 August 2002 5.46pm
I don't actually mind paying the congestion charge... in the long run, I would really like to see an utopian solution, where public transport is cheap, reliable and above all safe (it would also be nice if it helped me carry home heavy items that have been purchased). I hope this whole thing works, and the funding is spent wisely on improving the public transport system, as well as making London a safer place to live.



Varkenslachter
dan
Tuesday 27 August 2002 10.35pm
what happens on the boundary of the zone ?

it might be bad lots of people trying to park or bypass the zone this could easily lead to gridlock

so then next day they won't try and park or bypass the zone because it will be chaos, possibly even worse than a tube strike

several weeks later they may return and find everyone has stopped going near the boundary because of the gridlock

then traffic will rise again causing chaos and then as a result it will drop again

until it reaches a fairly stable level

so pretty much what happens now

I think if you try to bypass the zone or park close to the boundary just after the charge is introduced you may find you have an interesting journey

Interestingly I read that the cameras for identifying cars entering the zone can only identify 70% of number plates
Thursday 29 August 2002 12.53pm
Roger Shoesmith wrote:

==========
I wish it were true that it "will transform London". But even TfL expects only a 15% reduction in traffic volumes - i.e. about the same as during school holidays.
==========

According to the experts, that is - surprisingly - enough to make a big reduction in congestion.

Professor Peter Jones said at the London Assembly's seminar: "Typically, a 10%-15% reduction in traffic levels - such as is commonly observed during school holidays - will have a major impact on traffic congestion in areas of London where the network is at capacity. This is much less than the public usually imagines - people often assume that traffic would need to be halved to make a noticeable difference."

see page 13 of http://www.london.gov.uk/approot/assembly/reports/alt_cong_charge/alternatives_congestion_charge.pdf

His whole paper is well worth reading for those who are genuinely interested in getting an objective factual view of this subject.

Paul
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