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Congestion Charging

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Current: 7 of 21
Thursday 29 August 2002 3.41pm
Prof Jones obviously hasn't driven through Central London much this summer. It doesn't seem to have changed at all and in some places appears worse.

More seriously, the quote from the Prof is right but, it leaves a critical piece of data out. The zone defined for congestion charging was never an area that changed significantly during school holidays, however the suburbs are. That means that during school holidays the trip to join the traffic in central London is quicker, and so is the trip home for that matter.

No doubt charging will reduce traffic in the zone but I have my doubts it will stop 15% driving to London, they will simply park outside the zone and travel on cheap transport paid for by Londoners.

The paper referred to is interesting and, just to get the facts right, was presented at a forum to deal with congestion elsewhere in London. One of the worrying things about this forum is that it seems to focus on controlling Londoners driving in London and not controlling people driving to London.
Thursday 29 August 2002 4.34pm
Is it just me, or have other people noticed the amount of 'road-works' going on in central London. Some cabbie told me that this is going to be lifted after the introduction of charging, and the mayor will point to the improvement to the roads and claim a victory for the new controls. It certainly does appear that there's very little work going on at times.

What do they intend to do about people stealing your numberplate and driving without a care through the zones. It's quite popular for thieves to steal your numberplates and use them illegally in Holland and Belgium. It causes huge amount of work for police, let alone the stress it causes the innocent victim for receiving court-summons and what have you not.

Thursday 29 August 2002 9.27pm
Carsharing: has anyone looked at ? The site aims to match up drivers and those seeking lifts to regular destinations.

Occasional car users: Southwark Council is setting up a carshare/pool car scheme. They have two cars at London Bridge at the moment and the scheme works by paying an annual subscription and booking a car when you need one. They will be promoting this scheme at the Bankside Information Day, Friday September 20th 11-6.30, at Southwark Cathedral west churchyard.
Friday 30 August 2002 7.07am
this is from their web-site.


Freewheelers does not check the validity of any data entered by registered users. By using the Freewheelers system you acknowledge that the information provided is in no way guaranteed to represent the truth. Freewheelers will keep records of registered users website accesses. Freewheelers will log a registered user viewing contacts details for other registered users. In the event of any incident Freewheelers will co-operate fully with the police.

Registered users who have arranged to travel together through Freewheelers should satisfy themselves that the other user is bona fide. Freewheelers can only suggest talking by phone before hand. Remember Freewheelers does not check any personal details entered into the website.

What's to stop a nutter from getting into your car ? (or for me to get into your car)

Friday 30 August 2002 11.35am
Just by getting out of bed in the morning you will be exposing yourself to risks. Check out any risk/statistics web site. Nothing we can do will ever alleviate this.

Presumably a phone conversation and some id checks on 1st meeting should be enough (passport, bills, work id card). People can turn into nutters after years of knowing each other so where is the additional risk here ?

We are not totaly powerless. We able to lessen our impact on the planet and our children by sharing cars.
Friday 30 August 2002 3.42pm
Zoodle wrote:

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.

Joel Crawford, the author of Carfree Cities and webmaster of, has warmly welcomed London's congestion charging scheme as a step in the right direction.

See about halfway down the page.

Unfair? Not as unfair as the status quo.

Ineffective? We don't know yet. It's a brave experiment in largely uncharted territory. We have to wait and see how it turns out.

A political con-trick? In what way? It was explicitly part of Livingstone's platform in the election, which he won hands down, so not only does he have a democratic mandate for it, but if he didn't now do it he would rightly be accused of not fulfilling his election promises. I don't understand who you claim is being conned.

Friday 30 August 2002 7.11pm
Thanks Andrew... I will try to worry less, when I get out of bed.

twice in the last two years, I thought I'd stop and give someone a lift (very cold and wet). Both times I managed to get someone who was temporarily on leave from prison, and were asking if I had any interest in drugs... This I may add is not apparent from my dress sense or physical appearance (debatable ofcourse).

just my own experience ofcourse.

Friday 30 August 2002 10.25pm
I am really glad that so many of you are passionate about this topic. I LOVE my car. I LOVE driving in London. I remember years and years of using buses and trains. The utter misery! Have you ever seen a happy person in a bus queue? I am selfish but I think bike riders are even more selfish. When I offer others a lift they rarely refuse. (in fact carless persons have even been known to ask for lifts!)The buses are okay if they are on time, not crowded or full up with school kids. Crowding and pollution is a problem but the traffic is slowing down due to roadwork delays and inefficient phasing of traffic lights.Let's get the traffic moving freely. I try not to use the underground as the last time I used this service we were all forced off the train at Shadwell due to fighting at Surrey Quays. I feel that public transport is not safe at night. If London is really serious about it's transport there must be safe, pleasant, clean, efficient ways of travelling that are just as comfortable as the car. Are we going to get it? Are we going to get a new football stadium? Will the Dome ever be successful? Has the Mayor and TFL got the joined-up thinking necessary to tackle the big projects successfully?
Saturday 31 August 2002 6.29pm
minx wrote: i do a 50 mile round trip every day from se1 to staines, to work.

I do have sympathy with all the points you raised Minx, but they aren't really the problem. the fact that you do a 50 mile round trip is the problem.
I used to have the same problem driving to maidstone everyday, until I realised how illogical that was and that my doing the journey was creating the gridlock that i got me so stressed. i took a much lower paid job that i could tube or walk to, and now don't have a car at all. that saves a load of money and allows me to hire a car when i need it and take cabs home late at night. it's still cheaper than running a car.

someone else wrote that carless people are happy to take lifts, and sometimes even ask for lifts. Quelle horreur! i'm sure the driver is also quite happy to accept a contribution to the petrol costs? i'm sure most carless people aren't violently anti-car, they are just rational people who know what causes traffic jams and that it makes sense to car-share.

re freewheelers - it was just a suggestion, for anyone who's interested, to take a look at. i suppose it's just easier to knock something than to come up with something constructive? was that car owner's response?

i also saw a comment that someone had twice offered lifts and twice had picked up people on leave from prison. why was that a problem? did something untoward happen during the journey?
Sunday 1 September 2002 9.09am
ehm... looks like I offended you twice Kate.

I didn't mean to knck down something constructive, but surely it's wise to see the negative aspects of any idea too.

Nothing untoward happened on either journey, apart from the fact that it made me feel very uncomfortable. There were moments in the journey when I felt threatened by the things they said (or the way they said it).

May I also add that most car-owners are also rational people , but have chosen made, for whatever reason, the decision to own a car. In fact, we're all rational people, who have different oppinions on differnet subjects. isn't this the purpose of these forums ?

Current: 7 of 21

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