London Congestion Charge needs urgent reform
The overall annual cost to London from traffic delays on busy roads is £5.5 billion. This figure represents a huge 30 per cent increase in just two years (£4.2 billion in 2012/13). The cost of delays for an average vehicle is £20.83 per hour.
AVRUPA TIMES/LONDON-The London Assembly Transport Committee report ‘London Stalling’ released today calls on the Mayor to reform the Congestion Charge and ultimately replace with it road pricing. The Committee suggests a way of charging people for road usage that is targeted at areas of congestion, at the times congestion occurs. It’s a popular idea, with over half of road users responding to a Committee survey saying they support road pricing - only a fifth were opposed.
In the short-term, the Congestion Charge should be reformed to better reflect the impact of vehicles on congestion. The daily flat rate should be replaced with a charging structure that ensures vehicles in the zone at peak times, and spending longer in the zone, face the highest charges.
The report also recommends:
Reducing restrictions on night-time deliveries
Piloting a ban on personal deliveries for staff
Reconsidering ‘click and collect’ at Tube and rail stations
Devolving Vehicle Excise Duty to the Mayor
Piloting a local Workplace Parking Levy
Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee said;
“Something dramatic has to be done about the enormous congestion problem on London’s roads. The issue is costing our city money and costing Londoners their health and wellbeing. Transport for London (TfL) is doing a lot to tackle congestion, but not enough. Road pricing would be a fairer approach, as road users would pay according to how much they contribute to congestion.
It’s a bold move – but our survey shows that road users are in favour and the current congestion charge is far too blunt an instrument and too narrow in scope.
Gridlocked London needs to start moving again and tinkering here and there is not going to achieve that. A total rethink about who uses our roads and how is imperative to get the veins and arteries of our great city flowing freely again.”