Sunday, February 18, 2007

Congestion charging.

Tomorrow sees the extension of the London Congestion Charging scheme westwards to cover Kensington and Chelsea. This change has been brought about by Transport for London under the leadership of the Mayor, Ken Livingstone .

The charging period for this congestion charge is Monday to Friday from 07.00 to 18.00 - there is no charge on Saturday and Sunday. London is a busy capital city and works 24/7. It does not work office hours only and buzzes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This congestion charge is clearly a half measure, it will not solve congestion problems throughout the week only lighten them from 07.00 to 18.00 Monday to Friday. It is silly to have this congestion charge for only part of the week. There are 2 other problems with this extended scheme. There is a no charge through route that all traffic can use right through the centre of London which makes a mockery of charging in the central area. The A3220 forms a boundary route to this extended charging zone but although it is a red route, it is not a 24/7 red route. Because of parked vehicles the A3220 through Chelsea is very congested most of the week and traffic flow through the junctions is very poor. If Transport for London really wanted this scheme to work properly then they should not have gone for a part time scheme with a free through route and a part time red route network. The choice should have been all or nothing - not this silly half measure.
Not instigating the Congestion Charge at weekends allows near-gridlock in central London on occasions. Certainly a half-measure as you say.
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