Congestion Charge ConundrumThu, 18/03/2010
Traffic congestion wastes drivers’ time and fuel, pollutes the atmosphere, reduces employment, and pushes businesses and shoppers away from cities.
The Congestion Charge aims to reduce congestion within specified areas of central London. The charge is in operation Monday to Friday 07:00-18:00 and does not apply at weekends and Bank Holidays, when traffic levels are lighter.
Transport for London (TfL) has been confirmed that congestion charges will not operate over the festive period. For the fifth year running motorists will not have to pay the congestion charge from 25th December until 1st January.
London suffers from the worst traffic congestion in the UK, and among the worst in Europe. The charge is designed to encourage motorists to use other modes of transport, thereby cutting congestion, traffic levels and helping to reduce emissions.
Some motorists argue that the congestion charge should be based on emissions rather than technology and have now claimed victory after the mayor of London’s office confirmed TfL was undertaking a review.
The congestion charge has seen a 21% reduction in traffic entering the original charging zone, with 70,000 fewer cars a day.
Cycling levels have seen a 66% increase since the introduction of the congestion charge- reducing the amount of fuel emissions throughout London.
The daily charge of £8 can be paid before or on the day of travel, by telephone, text message, online, at selected shops, petrol stations and by post.
Congestion Charging continues to make a valuable contribution to London’s transport network. It has reduced congestion and provided better transport services, cleaner air and safer roads.