• I think its going to need to be addressed pretty quickly.

    I doubt it, but we'll see.

  • This is news more about the Congestion Charge, but as we don't really have a C-Charge thread I thought I'd bump this one:

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/s­adiq-khan-congestion-charge-tfl-bailout-­government-a4441361.html

    It's undoubtedly still too low (and, as ever, the concept is flawed, anyway), but it's a welcome development.

  • A case the IWGB union has lost:

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/l­ondon-congestion-charge-minicab-appeal-a­4517506.html

    The core of the decision is really here:

    “Thirdly, there was no purpose in interfering with the exemption accorded to taxis, because taxis provide unique advantages to Londoners. They allow wheelchair-bound passengers to travel and are required to carry passengers under a raft of regulations that do not affect minicabs.

    There remains the dimension of minicab drivers being overwhelmingly brown and black cab drivers overwhelmingly white:

    The ruling noted that it was “common ground” that 94% of licensed minicab drivers in London are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME), with 71% of minicab drivers living in the most deprived areas of London, with earnings of, on average, less than £23,000 per year.

    In comparison, the ruling says, 88% of black cab drivers – who remain exempt from the charge – are white.

    Lady Justice Simler noted: “This significant disparity of impact between black and minority ethnic minicab drivers on low incomes on the one hand and white taxi drivers on the other is stark and has raised legitimate questions about the measure adopted by the Mayor.

    “It has made this appeal particularly troubling.”

  • This is a good summary article on the state of play concerning road user charging.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/202­0/oct/24/why-the-row-over-congestion-cha­rge-expansion-could-tear-london-apart

    I haven't really been paying attention for a while, but I do wonder what the point is supposed to be of extending the zone so far, and, crucially, keeping it all at one price, presumably with the established 90% discount for residents inside the zone. This would seem to wipe out almost completely the income from the original central zone; the figures may have changed slightly now, but it used to be the case that only 6% of trips originating in Outer London ended up in the CCZ.

    Naturally, the focus in setting the new, artificial boundary is on the edge cases, e.g. Heidi Alexander's example of driving one mile through Catford for £15, just as it was originally, but the main impact would be on driving by drivers within the new expanded zone, which would get much cheaper for drivers living inside it. They would no longer have to worry so much about crossing the Inner Ring Road into the original zone.

    I can only assume that the Tories want this because many of their more affluent voters will live inside the North and South Circulars and would therefore get the discount on their driving. I can't really see any other possible motivation for this change on their part. As a revenue-generating scheme, which the author above rightly warns isn't meant to be the purpose of congestion charging (ideally, it would *not* pay for itself and really deter people from driving, but of course that's not how it works out), it makes no sense, as it is patently obvious that if you extend it, it should be in different zones at different tariffs (a key mistake Livingstone made with the original extension was to fail to make it the first segment of an 'outer ring' at a different tariff), preserving the effect of the . Then again, as the Green proposals imply, the 'fixed zone' approach is antiquated by now; the original policy, of course, was conceived decades before it was implemented. Flexible, distance-based road user charging is now increasingly feasible (I assume that the technology for this exists by now, but again I haven't been following this lately), and you could probably have a different tariff for the very central zone within that distance-based charging, too, e.g. £10 for the outer zone and £20 for the inner one (the charges have always been too low, and those numbers probably would be, too). As a congestion charging scheme, it makes even less sense, as above.

    It just seems a stupid political bunfight kicked off by the Tories to attack Sadiq Khan and because they want to distract people from the fact that their idea that TfL should be dependent on fares income to cover its cost has backfired rather spectacularly in the pandemic and exposed the idea for the folly it was. Public transport generally doesn't 'pay for itself'. Rather, it's a public investment to support economic activity, and the benefits are indirect and felt in wider prosperity. As has been observed many times, one main reason why 'the North' is economically disadvantaged is the comparatively poor state of public transport there.

    Oh well.

  • Politically, the only weird thing in congestion charge zone expansion is that the conservative mayor candidate also doesent support it.

    I think it should be done. Driving in London should be (even more) premium.

  • I support charging people who decided to drive in but think the pay-once-and-drive-all-day approach encourages exactly the wrong sort of driving.

    I'm also amused that Heidi Alexander's go-to example of what should be easy and free is a one mile car journey, when she spends the rest of her time encouraging people to do those journeys by bike or on foot.

    Flexible, distance-based road user charging is now increasingly feasible (I assume that the technology for this exists by now, but again I haven't been following this lately)

    Technologically it's straightforward, but there's rather too much glossing over the practicalities and legalities. Will you need a tracker, or an app, and what happens if you have neither? Do the legal powers to make it happen exist, or does it need an act of parliament?

  • Driving in London should be (even more) premium.

    Yes, but at least as I understand it, the current proposal would make it significantly cheaper for people living in the expanded, huge zone.

    I can't help but think that this would have to be addressed, i.e. as I said above, split it into different tariff zones, or reduce the discount.

    It would be absurd to make it one huge zone where driving would effectively be as it was before CC came in.

  • I support charging people who decided to drive in but think the pay-once-and-drive-all-day approach encourages exactly the wrong sort of driving.

    True. However, road user charging by mile or some other measure can also have unintended consequences, e.g. suppose you're a tradesman who really does need a van to drive around all over London to wherever the jobs are (not that it's a business model I'd support, but it does exist, and not just for companies like Pimlico Plumbers, but also smaller companies and sole traders). You'll rack up huge bills. By contrast, you might be loaded and just driving your Lambo around for 'pleasure'--you'll probably be able to easily absorb the new cost. At least with the current model our little trader has some certainty about what they need to pay. Obviously, I'd love it if tradesmen were all able to switch to cargo bikes, but I'm sure there are some for whom that won't be possible. So, how do you organise it? Do you grant exceptions? Would everyone suddenly try to exploit loopholes that might open?

    I'm also amused that Heidi Alexander's go-to example of what should be easy and free is a one mile car journey, when she spends the rest of her time encouraging people to do those journeys by bike or on foot.

    I'm not sure she meant it like that, but rather that some people would have to dip into and out of the zone for a short distance when driving through Catford, quite possibly being on a longer journey. I'm sure the South Circular, as the relevant ring road, would remain exempt, as the Inner Ring Road is today, but it might be the case that some people couldn't stay on it all the way. Labour politicians do tend to be wary of regressive taxes, and in fact that was one argument many advanced when Livingstone did the original CCZ, and this £15 would be used by different people quite differently. Etc. Lots of different cases can probably be constructed that aren't very helpful, but I don't think she only meant to say that it would adversely affect people driving a single mile.

    Technologically it's straightforward, but there's rather too much glossing over the practicalities and legalities. Will you need a tracker, or an app, and what happens if you have neither? Do the legal powers to make it happen exist, or does it need an act of parliament?

    Yes, that's something that has paralysed the whole thing for a while--too many possibilities and options. Let's hope some kind of consensus emerges in the not-too-distant-future.

  • Good point both

  • I'm not sure she meant it like that, but rather that some people would have to dip into and out of the zone for a short distance when driving through Catford

    I'd just assumed she was taking the lazy shot of who the fuck would ever pay to go to Catford?

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The London 'Toxicity Charge' / 'T-charge' / Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

Posted by Avatar for Oliver Schick @Oliver Schick

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