At the risk of sparking a lively discussion - what do people think of the latest sabre-rattling idea by central government in it's fight with Sadiq Khan over transport funding, to extend the congestion charge in line with the extended ULEZ next October?
As someone who has just changed my car for a less polluting one, to comply with the ULEZ, I am naturally unenthused by the idea. Combine this with one of the other demands, to abolish free travel for over-60 and children, it doesn't seem to add up to a coherent transport policy.
Also, extending the zone could easily backfire, with people who have paid the charge driving into central London more often, rather destroying the point. If residents of the zone were given the same discount as at present (90%) it would not make nearly enough revenue to justify the disruption.
On the other hand, as we know, traffic in London is an ongoing serious problem - markedly worse at present it seems to me - and needs addressing somehow. I'd be willing to pay a London road tax, either annually or per use (I don't drive much), but £15 a day seems excessive.
London transport users are massively subsidised - something like £2000 per person per year - compared to a pittance spent in other parts of the country, so this is a political hot potato. But Johnson is wrong accuse Khan of 'bankrupting' TfL, as he has actually reduced the deficit he was left with (by former mayor BJ) by 70%, while keeping fares at the same level. A huge reduction in transport use due to the pandemic is behind the present financial problems, yet other transport companies and airlines are receiving substantial support.
Haven't seen any specifics, but can't imagine they'd simply extend the whole thing and not keep the existing £15 charge for entering the original zone from the extension.
The only people *greatly* affected by this would be those living outside the proposed extension who currently drive into it regularly. Can't say I have many objections to that.
Does it take in everyone who lives within the north circular and south circular?
From what I’ve read so far it seems so, but it’s light on detail
The idea was that they'd abolish the residents' discount too. Within the Circs. But all the outer London Tory MPs are apparently up in arms about all the suggestions (including abolishing subsidised travel) so it'll probably go away.
Huge numbers of people drive into work every day from outside the zone. The anpr will be ready for the ulez zone next October. Johnson is trying to pin the increase on Khan but it's likely to be an own goal.
I was thinking that - if they go ahead they'll will definitely make sure Khan wins the mayoral election next year.
Residents within the congestion charge zone get a 90% discount. So if a resident only used their car a couple of times a week that would make it £1.50 * 2 * 52 or just £156 per year. Even if they used it every day thats still just £547 per year.
So its not so much for people within the zone. And around here there are a lot of complaints about through traffic from out of the borough so maybe its good to put off those from further out driving in?
Curious about the £2000 per person per year subsidy figure, do you have a reference for that? TfL pays for roads too, not just things like tube and buses.
Your correct, a 90% discount for residents at present. However you can only get the 90% by buying a weekly pass. So one will end up paying for 7 days a week for 52 weeks.
That is of course based on the premise that the discount will still be offered. I haven't read anything on that.
A bit odd that, I only use my car once a week, having to pay for the whole week would encourage me to use it more. You'd think that you should be able to buy individual days on an app.
Although this would (theoretically) significantly reduce traffic in the borough, it will have a major impact on local businesses etc.
I can also see major ANPR fraud with number plate tampering and cloning, if cars can be driven around with illegal lights and exhausts without seemingly being caught I don't hold out much hope.
Ok , a correction.
I based my comment on the C charge discount on my mothers experience (she lived inside it) when it started. Back then it was 90% but only for a weekly, monthly or annual permits.
Having checked the TFL website today it would appear that they have moved into the 21st century and you are now able to pay for individual days and receive the 90% discount. To receive it you must register your car, address and credit card. you're then billed monthly.
There certainly is a big difference (as a regular user of the Pacer trains up North it's very noticeable) but bear in mind that the article is referring to transport spending, not public transport.
As the Government has pushed TFL to be self-funding it's actually in the strange position where those using public transport are subsidising car users in London.