Congestion Charge to Rise

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Congestion Charge to Rise

Postby Nick » Mon May 24, 2010 3:26 pm

The western extension of the London congestion charge area will be scrapped soon but the daily charge for the remaining area is set to rise to £10, London Mayor Boris Johnson announced consultation on the proposed changes today, saying that if the plans were approved the last charging day for the western extension would be Christmas Eve this year.

The charging zone would then revert, from January 4 2011, to substantially the same area that existed before the western extension was introduced in February 2007. From January 4, the daily charge will go up from £8 to £10 and from £10 to £12 if paid the next charging day.

It is also proposed that an auto pay scheme is set up to make paying the congestion charge easier and more convenient. To register customers would need a credit or debit card and to pay a £10 registration charge for each vehicle on the account.

Auto pay would ensure that no penalty charge notices would be issued to any registered vehicles, meaning drivers would no longer be penalised for forgetting to pay the charge. Auto pay customers would also be eligible for a daily charge of £9.

AA president Edmund King said today: "The mayor is right to propose removing the western extension as the majority of residents and businesses were originally opposed to it.

"However, many Londoners may well question whether increasing the congestion charge to £10 represents value for money. This would mean that the congestion charge has doubled in just seven years while congestion has got worse."

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "The suspicion among drivers entering the central charging zone will be that this huge increase is more about plugging the financial hole left by the scrapping of the western extension than cutting the amount of traffic on the road.
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Re: Congestion Charge to Rise

Postby Lynda » Mon May 24, 2010 7:37 pm

I wouldn't even want to drive in to London these days and having a free Underground pass means that it wouldn't be cost effective anyway.
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Re: Congestion Charge to Rise

Postby REI » Mon May 24, 2010 11:18 pm

If the charge has to be raised to reduce the number of cars I would expect it to go up and up.

The idea that the frequent users of the zone could pre-register so they are not hit with a lae charge sounds like a winner.
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Re: Congestion Charge to Rise

Postby Nick » Tue May 25, 2010 12:23 am

REI wrote:If the charge has to be raised to reduce the number of cars I would expect it to go up and up.

The idea that the frequent users of the zone could pre-register so they are not hit with a lae charge sounds like a winner.


Agreed about pre-registration. The whole concept of the congestion zone is flawed though - no one in their right mind would drive in central London unless they have to, so charging them for doing it makes no difference, they have to do it so they pay & add the charge onto the pricing of whatever their goods/service is.
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Re: Congestion Charge to Rise

Postby REI » Wed May 26, 2010 2:15 pm

Nick wrote:
REI wrote:If the charge has to be raised to reduce the number of cars I would expect it to go up and up.

The idea that the frequent users of the zone could pre-register so they are not hit with a lae charge sounds like a winner.


Agreed about pre-registration. The whole concept of the congestion zone is flawed though - no one in their right mind would drive in central London unless they have to, so charging them for doing it makes no difference, they have to do it so they pay & add the charge onto the pricing of whatever their goods/service is.


False.

I know personally people who have changed when they drive, where they drive or if they drive at all based on the charge. There are businesses who have no choice. There are also others who come in to shop, go to a show or something else. I know one guy who drives to the office and he just shifted to working earlier and staying later to avoid the charge. No change in how many times he drives but a benefit in terms of traffic congestion and pollution.

For a big city the traffic is not bad. There are still plenty of alternatives for getting around.
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Re: Congestion Charge to Rise

Postby Nick » Wed May 26, 2010 2:25 pm

Yes, I've changed my driving times & it was a factor in my trying the train, but in general it hasn't had a noticeable effect on the congestion in the centre. It's made the lives of some of the Pimlico residents just outside the congestion zone a misery though. They don't qualify for a discount on the charge, but the majority of the Resident's Bays that they can use are in the Zone!

Perversely - the Congestion Charge has made parking during the day very much easier. I don't know why, but we can find a Resident's Bay to park in much easier than before.
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Re: Congestion Charge to Rise

Postby REI » Thu May 27, 2010 10:53 pm

I know initially the traffic did drop.

I know there is an argument that by having a bigger congestion zone you get more people driving as more are in the zone and they can drive at a discounted rate.
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