Everyday life

Congestion Charge

There were more cars on Exhibition Road than I had ever seen in the whole time that I was at Imperial.

Before, when there were more roadworks, less cars drove down Exhibition road, and those that did, did so warily, slowly, carefully. Not so the cars I saw last night.

Tempted to say “It’s a pedestrian space! Get it!”

However, it will be wrong to marginalise car users. The automobile and its users should not be demonise despite the fact that they are the cause of so many problems–pollution, accidents, sprawl etc.

My prof made a comment worth noting. He was referring to London’s Congestion Charge, and as he was talking about the successes and the problems arising from the scheme, he said something about how there should be teams that spot and mitigate local isolated problems within the Congestion Charging area (such as a vehicle loading/unloading and holding up traffic) that’s preventing traffic from moving slowly. And that this should enshrined as part of the whole scheme.

It makes sense doesn’t it? The consumers paying the ‘congestion charge’ should have their goods, which in this case is good traffic, delivered to them.



One thought on “Congestion Charge

  1. The argument goes to the heart of whether in fact the C-Charge is a tax or not, and in international law it is a tax. So you are not in fact paying for less congestion. You are paying a tax. The word ‘congestion’ is used but in fact it is simply ‘road pricing’. Although your prof is right about the need to deal with local traffic problems, that is the role of the borough and its enforcement mechanisms, including parking restrictions and wardens. The C-Charge is Londonwide and the responsibility of the Mayor. Try taking away the parking fees from local authorities …it’d be like taking a mutton chop away from a tiger at the zoo.

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