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Re: [NewMobilityCafe] [World Streets] Bad News Department: Scrapping London Congestion Tax

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  • Andrew Curry
    There are other contributors to this list who will have more knowledge of the London western extension, but the most important thing about it was that it was
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 28, 2009
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      There are other contributors to this list who will have more knowledge of the London western extension, but the most important thing about it was that it was really all about politics, not about better transport outcomes. (No substantive evidence informed the decision, as I recall). 

      The western extension area ran across two conservative councils, who didn't like it because it was introduced by the Labour mayor. It was also opposed by motorists for the usual self-interested reasons. Johnson put it into his manifesto as a way of pleasing his conservative supporters.

      There's not much logic behind the decision either; although one of the western area councils, Kensington and Chelsea, is very affluent, it has a fairly low rate of car ownership because it is close to the city centre, so the decision to reverse the congestion charge really only increases the use of the borough as a commuter route. The council had some concerns that the western extenstion of the C-charge had reduced takings in stores in their big retail areas (Kings Road, Kensington High Street). I'd heard reports that the some of the Kensington and Chelsea councillors had come to the conclusion that the best outcome for them might be a 'rush hour congestion charge', which reduced the amount of traffic coming through the borough at peak periods, but didn't discourage shoppers who drove in the middle of the day. On current technology this may have been a bit complicated (or confusing) to administer.

      Andrew 

      2009/2/28 ericbritton <eric.britton@...>

      [http://newmobilityagenda.blogspot.com/search?q=Bad+news]
      I really liked the format of the paper, but what I liked best was the Bad News Department!

      Just as you have talked about the attempts to detract the success of the Velib in Paris, so also Mayor Boris Johnson’s scrapping of the westward extension of the London Congestion Tax is being used in Mumbai by the car lobby to state that “The Congestion Tax is a failure in London, and therefore it cannot be used in Mumbai”. That it cannot be applied in the format that has been used in London is because of various other reasons, not because the concept per se is bad and therefore doomed to failure. (This was in a lot of newspapers, and my views on the same were also published, but I unfortunately did not make copies!)

      Mumbai desperately needs some form of congestion reduction techniques: whether it is fiscal or policy measures, it will have to be tailored to meet our socio- cultural issues, as well as the unique geography that Mumbai has. However, the scrapping of the extension of the congestion tax in London has set back any progress we were making in that direction.

      I wonder if any other city has had a similar experience?

      Bina C. Balakrishnan
      Consultant- Transportation Planning Engineering
      Mumbai, India

      --
      Posted By ericbritton to World Streets at 2/28/2009 10:58:00 AM




      --
      Email from Andrew Curry

      And see my personal futures blog at http://thenextwavefutures.wordpress.com/
    • Ian
      Figures show a majority support Congestion Charging in London. The pending scrapping of the Western Congestion Charge Zone in London should not deter other
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 2, 2009
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        Figures show a majority support Congestion Charging in London.


        The pending scrapping of the Western Congestion Charge Zone in London
        should not deter other cities from looking at such schemes.
        Underneath the headlines there are figures that show that the
        Congestion Charge is popular and accepted. TRB research found that
        the public supported Congestion Charging:

        http://thecityfix.com/the-public-supports-road-pricing/


        Further. The consultation for the removal of the Congestion zone
        extension was flawed. The road lobby simply sent sacks full of
        letters to the major and when he counted them, they outnumbered the
        letters of support for the status quo (not the pop band).

        The hard reality is that the Congestion Charge has strong support, but
        the fact that people like myself have been fined means that many of us
        would like to see changes in how is is administrated...

        Cast aside the postal surveys and letters and look only at the
        telephone interviews conducted by TfL where respondents were randomly
        telephoned and not influenced by lobbyist and there is a different result.


        The reality is that:

        30% of Londoners want to keep the Western Extension Zone of the London
        Congestion Charge as it is.

        14% want to change the way the scheme operates (easier payment methods
        and longer to pay)

        Added together you have 45% supporting the continuation of the Charge.


        Those wanting the Western Extension of the Congestion Charge Zone
        scrapped were only 40%
        (and how many of them would have had a
        different opinion if they had not received fines like me due to the
        difficulties and time limits available to pay, particularly when the
        scheme first started)



        Page iii of iv (pdf page 5)
        http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/roadusers/congestioncharging/westernextension/pdf/Annex-2-Report-on-the-attitudinal-survey-of-Londoners.pdf



        Ian
      • Ian Wingrove
        This has probably escaped the attention of most of you, but the planned extension of the London Low Emission Zone to an estimated 90,000 polluting light good
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 2, 2009
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          Message
          This has probably escaped the attention of most of you, but the planned extension of the London Low Emission Zone to an estimated 90,000 polluting light good vehicles, was a very big step towards improving London's air quality.
           

          The European Union is preparing court action to defend health of Londoners. the London Mayor worked with Government on their new action plan, but no significant new actions are suggested – unsure if the London Mayor regards the action plan as adequate to meet the limit values in time?

          The london mayor has criticized Government over expansion of Heathrow and the impacts on air quality, as west London won’t meet N02 limit values till well after 2015.

          The London Mayor has changed policy on 4 things which will increase air pollution:

          • Western Extension of congestion charge – potential 15% increase in traffic and pollution within the zone;
          • Abolished half yearly inspections of Black Cab inspection – 2,389 black cabs failed six month pollution test the previous year;
          • Bendy buses replaced – PM10 emissions up by a third on route 38 (the only route for which there are figures);
          • LEZ stage 3 cancelled – lossed the chance to remove 106,000 people from areas which don’t meet the European Union's NO2 limit values and 17,000 people from the PM10 limit values.

          the London Mayor's proposals:

          • Continue hybrid buses program – but cancelled purchase of 60 hydrogen vehicles.
          • Expand support for electric vehicles –  but even a ten fold increase of electric vehicles in London (currently less than a 1,000), would only reach a tenth of the drivers who would be effected by the LEZ stage 3 (around 90,000). Nor does this policy target for replacement the most polluting vehicles.

           

           
           
          -----Original Message-----
          From: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ian
          Sent: 02 March 2009 12:26
          To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Re: [World Streets] Bad News Department: Scrapping London Congestion Tax

          Figures show a majority support Congestion Charging in London.

          The pending scrapping of the Western Congestion Charge Zone in London
          should not deter other cities from looking at such schemes.
          Underneath the headlines there are figures that show that the
          Congestion Charge is popular and accepted. TRB research found that
          the public supported Congestion Charging:

          http://thecityfix. com/the-public- supports- road-pricing/

          Further. The consultation for the removal of the Congestion zone
          extension was flawed. The road lobby simply sent sacks full of
          letters to the major and when he counted them, they outnumbered the
          letters of support for the status quo (not the pop band).

          The hard reality is that the Congestion Charge has strong support, but
          the fact that people like myself have been fined means that many of us
          would like to see changes in how is is administrated. ..

          Cast aside the postal surveys and letters and look only at the
          telephone interviews conducted by TfL where respondents were randomly
          telephoned and not influenced by lobbyist and there is a different result.

          The reality is that:

          30% of Londoners want to keep the Western Extension Zone of the London
          Congestion Charge as it is.

          14% want to change the way the scheme operates (easier payment methods
          and longer to pay)

          Added together you have 45% supporting the continuation of the Charge.

          Those wanting the Western Extension of the Congestion Charge Zone
          scrapped were only 40%
          (and how many of them would have had a
          different opinion if they had not received fines like me due to the
          difficulties and time limits available to pay, particularly when the
          scheme first started)

          Page iii of iv (pdf page 5)
          http://www.tfl. gov.uk/tfl/ roadusers/ congestionchargi ng/westernextens ion/pdf/Annex- 2-Report- on-the-attitudin al-survey- of-Londoners. pdf

          Ian



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