London: Congestion Charge

Discussion in 'Community' started by Blue Velvet, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #1
    The congestion charge will be increased on 4 July
    London's congestion charge is rising from £5 to £8, mayor Ken Livingstone has announced.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4399059.stm

    For you guys in the U.S., that's about US$15 to drive your car into the centre of London each day. :eek:

    I don't have a car at the mo, but to me that is a huge increase -- 30%.
     
  2. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Lincoln,UK
    #2
    Rip off £8 !!! they are crazy .. oooo rrrr me harty
     
  3. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    Spendy... I know.

    Happy Birthday, BTW! :D
     
  4. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #4
    All this will do is force more people onto a public transport infrastructure, with strike prone staff that can barely cope as it is, whilst it frees up the roads for the rich in their Bentleys, who probably already have their "City" cars converted to LPG so they are exempt from the charge, thus not costing them a penny.

    Brilliant. :rolleyes:
     
  5. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #5
    Would you prefre the charge not to be there and gridlock?

    The problem is that people see there car as RIGHT and not a PRIVILIGE and everything would be ok in the world if the other guy left his car at home.

    I vote Tory, but im right behind Red Ken on this.
     
  6. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    I can't see why we don't have Transit Lanes, like in Sydney. These are specialised lanes with T2 or T3 painted on them.

    T2=lanes for 2 or more people in a vehicle, and
    T3=lanes for 3 or more people in a vehicle

    They can scrap the BUS LANE idea, and implement THIS idea. Random police checkpoints can control their usage, with on-the-spot fines as a deterrent. The great thing is that it's really cheap to set up, and it also encourages carpooling. Therefore, LESS congestion, and LESS pollution!

    Mayoral candidate Steve Norris was all for it...

    Mayor Ken is a git. Next, he'll be stinging us for the cost of the Olympics in 2012 - Damn, I hope Paris get 'em...
     
  7. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #7
    The trouble is that cars in central London aren't the problem. It's cabs, delivery vans and buses that clog most streets. There aren't enough car parking spaces (cheap ones anyhow) for many people to drive into town in any case on a regular basis at peak times. There's more congestion/jams around the North/South circular than there is in the centre. Ken should be focusing on improving transport links to the suburbs to encourage public transport usage than simply trying to stop people driving along Regent St.

    Ken tries to speed things up by removing half the bus stops on Oxford St - how does that help the passenger? Now they have to walk to find out where their new stop is (often involving a struggle against the masses across Oxford Circus and I'd much rather my bus take an extra minute than do that regularly).

    It does affect shops who sell things that aren't easily carried - since people can't nip in to pick things up (and there's no way you can get anything bigger than 2 carrier bags on a crowded bus/Tube comfortably) I wonder how many G5s the Apple Store sells during the congestion charging period! There are many people who don't feel comfortable on public transport after 10/11pm but now to go to the theater (and arrive on time) they're having to pay to do so.
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Personally I think the charge is a good idea. My only complaint (as someone who used to work in the middle of the zone) is that it did not target the largest cause of congestion, bad driving and random manouvers: black cabs! I have only had to pay the charge a couple of times, and now that I work at Canary Wharf would not have to pay even if I were to drive to work.

    The public transport infastructure does need to be improved to cope with the number of people who use it but this will happen over time. Perhaps if more people looked at the alternatives (busses, walking between adjacent tube stops and so on) it would not be so bad. The DLR seems to work perfectly well so perhaps fully automated trains with no drivers to strike would be a good move?
     
  9. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #9
    It's actually a 60% increase :eek:

    Trouble is, raising congestion charge -> easy; improving public transport -> hard.
     
  10. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #10
    Ahh.. you spotted my April Fools deliberate maths mistake. :eek:
     
  11. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    But the problem is that it cost the GLA an absolute FORTUNE to install and maintain the equipment required for licence plate recognition, billing and staffing. The council is unlikely to recoup any profits for its exercise for at least another FIVE YEARS!!!

    This was a bad idea from the outset. Take it from me - I pay the charge 15 days in the month, and STILL have to compete in nightmarish traffic.

    Robbie - I'd like to see your opinion when Mayor Ken decides to increase the area of the zone to encompass Canary Wharf. It's just a matter of time...

    Mwahahahahahahaaa!
     
  12. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #12
    There's gridlock now, even with the charge. It's just that the gridlock consists of more flash cars.

    I'd like to see a more considered and well thought out solution to London's inherent traffic problems and a fairer system implemented, not a system that unfairly penalises the less well off or specific key workers.

    What would make a massive difference to congestion for example is if all truck/van deliveries were restricted to 8pm - 6am, that'd solve a lot of the problems straight away.

    So, whilst I agree with the concept of a congestion charge, I don't like the way it's currently being implemented.
     
  13. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #13
    Nice idea in theory -- but who's going to pay the wages of those who have to do overtime to sign for and take those deliveries?
     
  14. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #14
    Why would anyone need to do overtime?

    It doesn't seem to cause much of an issue for the more considerate of companies and businesses in London who already see the benefits of having their deliveries made in the 8pm - 6am period.

    But think of the greater economic benefits of not having delivery vehicles stuck in traffic jams 5 days a week and the knock on effect of that alone.

    Whilst it wouldn't be the easiest of transistions, it's more than doable.
     
  15. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #15
    In our case our storeroom guys have to be here during core office hours anyway but they also take print and other office deliveries so if they had to be here before 6am or after 8pm there'd be hell to pay... I don't think they'd be exempt from the European Working Time Directive somehow.
     
  16. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #16
    In which case you'd rearrange the storeroom guys responsibilties. If the current team manage both the deliveries and other tasks, then create a dedicated team from that which would solely handle the deliveries.

    Of course the logistics of implementing such regulations would require a lot consideration, and obviously you can't expect current staffing structures to work within such radical regulations. But it could be done. Companies do it now.

    At the moment the national transport infrastructure is chronically under used at night and over used during the day. One only has to travel on motorways in the early hours for an example of this, in which case why not route commercial transport to off peak/overnight hours which would significantly ease congestion in the day time?

    My other suggestions would be to ban taxi's and buses from central London (CC Zone) and bring back the tram and invest heavily in the underground, with buses and taxi's serving the tram/tube terminals that'd be found on the edges of the CC Zone.

    Controversial? yes.... practical? I think so... especially if the actual revenue from the Road Tax fund and Congestion Charge was actually ploughed back into the transport infrastructure rather than subsidising everything else.

    Of course, none of the above will ever happen... it's too much like hard work, but also because it's easier just to hit the 'poor' motorist again.

    Either way... I suppose it doesn't directly affect me. I don't use taxi's in central London (too slow, too expensive) I don't use buses (the tube is frequently faster, and if it's only a short distance, walk) or if I'm in a hurry and I feel that walking or the tube wouldn't be the fastest way... I take the BMX. :D
     
  17. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #17
    Fine. I'd encourage it. The traffic around here can be nasty on a Friday night. I'd almost certainly then qualify for the residents 90% reduction and I would not alter the way I travel to work 99.99% of the time: DLR. So all I see is good stuff :)
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #18
    You should try being a builder in London these days. Not only do you have to pay the Congestion Charge, but then you have to find a meter (20 quid a day), and move your vehicle every two hours. Or pay 100 quid plus a week for a permit. There has to be a better way.
     

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