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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

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.

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Pacers have all but been phased out. North has fleets of brand new trains now. They are well overdue but should be a game-changer,


CPZ as in a parking permit? I'm almost sure that money goes to the council, not TFL.

The subsidy is that those who don't go into the congestion zone don't pay money to TFL (in terms of driving) but likely use TFL controlled roads (as they extend outside of the congestion zone, e.g. Seven Sisters Road or the A10).

That's strange, the post I was replying to has disappeared so this is somewhat shorn of context.

I removed it Andrew because it wasn't quite correct, apparently surplus money from CPZs and parking fines go towards roads, transport, free travel etc via the councils, so it does subsidise TFL but indirectly. 

Which makes me wonder why enforcement is so lax in some areas ... ? Seems a valuable income stream going to waste.

.. Wordsworth Parade, cars parked on double yellows.

... Green Lanes between Frobisher and Falkland, cars parked outside shops the whole day

(Sorry off topic)

Not forgetting the lack of Enforcement around Our Schools. Even though they have valid Traffic Orders

So much for caring about children's Health. While allowing vehicles to double park and keep engines running 

This is a transparent attempt by the Government to make Sadiq look bad if he accepts this bailout - a deal which, let us be clear, the private Train Operating Companies haven't had to sign up to.

Fortunately, even their fellow Conservative MPs haven't fallen for this. And the leaked report outlining that a driverless Tube, whilst possible, would be a poor investment, hasn't helped the attempt to bash London, presumably to avoid the hard work of actually trying to level up the north of England.

With regard to longer term prospects for road user charging, the ULEZ will soon be expanded to the North and South Circular, so the effect (and infrastructure) of that will inform future options, although some advocate a "pay as you go" model of road user charging which would more accurately consider the externalities of road traffic.

The bottom line on this funding crisis is that the Piccadilly line signalling upgrade has been shelved.  We're still running on 50+ yr old technology.

New trains are on order and should be delivered in a couple of years but not much use given the state of the signalling system.

That said I doubt if tube passenger volumes will ever return to pre-covid levels. So many companies are reducing their office footprint and allowing people to work from home.

The 90% discount is good news as most of our journeys are within Zone 2 and even they are infrequent.  Like a lot of families we needed the car for transporting young kids, but now they're older it's soon reached the tipping point of joining a car pool.  The congestion charge would have definitely meant scrapping but I missed the bit about 90% discount.  We may be able to limp along for a while 

The residents' discount is currently suspended in Central London for any new applicants. The trouble with 'temporary' changes is that they can easily become permanent - I doubt the CC will go back to weekdays only, as it now covers weekends and daily till 10 pm.

It strikes me that simply enlarging the congestion charge zone would be far too unimaginative (not to mention crude) and poorly focused. I tend to agree with Chris Waller’s reference to pay as you go road charging.  Now that the technology used for the congestion charge zone has been proved in practice, we need more sophisticated modern methods to produce the benefits we seek.  If we are not yet ready for systems that identify every vehicle movement and charges for them accordingly, we could instead introduce local charging zones.  Perhaps, the borough could decide that it needs to discourage vehicles from outside the borough from using the streets it controls (ie nearly all of them) unless they are going to or from a destination within the borough.  We know from the huge Green Lanes Area Transport Study conducted in 2016 just how much of the vehicle traffic through the ladder area is just passing through and it is this traffic that should face prices that are linked in a rational way to the price of using public transport.  At present we have a situation in which for anyone who already has a car, it is cheaper to use it than to consider an alternative.  I don’t mind paying through council tax for local streets to be maintained but I do mind that these streets have to be repaired five times more frequently because vehicles just passing through are using them free while reducing my quality life in the process.

Road pricing is the way to go.

Imagine if drivers zooming down Green Lanes were charged a couple of quid each way ? And 5 quid for Wightman Road ?



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