London’s Congestion Charge

For those of you who don’t live in the UK, driving into London between certain hours of the day attracts an £8 per day congestion charge.

This was introduced 5 years ago by the then mayor, Ken Livingston in a effort to reduce traffic congestion (and no doubt add some funding to the mayoral purse). Recently there has been much debate on the potential expansion of the Congestion Zone and an increase in the day rate for higher emission vehicles.

I find the public transport system here (with all its foibles) 1000 times better than in my home town of Melbourne (and the parking in London, if you do drive in, is ridiculously expensive) so this has not been an issue that I’ve held any particularly strong views about. However I recently read that since the introduction of the congestion charge, traffic has been cut by 21 percent, cycling has risen by 43 percent and the scheme has been copied by cities such as Singapore and Stockholm – not a bad result.

I also wonder what the congestion charge revenue has been used for….food for thought eh?

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