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Congestion Charge is coming.. to town. Turu-ru tu-tu tu-tutu

Less than 3 weeks to go to the biggest gamble of recent times on London policy. I really hope the experiment works. It's worth a try anyway as the traffic in London has become the ultimate joke. Last year I visited several European capitals with terrible reputation for traffic jams (Athens, Rome, Madrid) and the roads were a joy compared with what we have here.

As expected the very vocal minority who don't like being told they can't do as they please have thrown a monumental tantrum about it. Accusations fly in all directions about "Red Ken" punishing drivers and imposing a new tax on honest, hardworking people. They've even set up their own website and have paid lawyers some cool fees to study ways in which the charge can be stopped in court.
(Incidentally many of these people are also Countryside Alliance members- which explains a few things).

What world do these people live in anyway? They fail to see, for instance, that cities in Italy and elsewhere introduced radical ways to reduce traffic in big cities a long time ago; from imposing a fee to not being allowed to drive your car every other day. It has nothing to do with politics or hatred of cars, and everything with trying to keep the city within tolerable levels. Apparently some believe it is their fundamental right to drive to work all the way into Central London- and everybody else be screwed.

The only problem is that all those who happily pay £7,000 per year for a parking space in central London won't have much of a problem forking out another £5 a day. So I don't know how much of a deterrent it will be. Still it is worth the try.

Here are the pro-car lunatics’ website, and one taking the opposite view for further info:


Beep boop. I'm a bot.


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Are you a car owner?
    Do you have any idea how much they cost to run, without parking charges e.t.c added on top?
    I don't use my car much, but when I do I NEED to drive into the town centre, it's cheaper and quicker than using the bus.
    I can spend an hour and 20 minutes in total, driving in, going to uni then getting home.
    The bus takes me at least 2 hours if I'm lucky and costs £2 compared to the £1 for parking on a meter.
    If they bring this charge to my home then I'm screwed, I'll end up either paying the £2-3 for the bus, or the £5 for the car, either way i'm out of pocket.
    They charge unreasonable amounts for tax, insurance, petrol and oddments.
    I pay £120 a year in road tax, how do they repay me? They charge me more for using roads that are falling apart. They rip me off with their 2 different types of petrol tax, then charge me to park on a street.
    When and IF they get things up to scratch with public transport, petrol costs, state of the roads they can justify charging more for people to drive.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes I own a car but I would not drive it to work for a number of reasons: even without the congestion charge it would cost a fortune to keep on a meter, and frankly it'd be quicker to walk.

    The traffic in London has to be regulated. It has reached a point of total gridlock and something has to be done to alleviate it. I do sympathise with people who live miles from the nearest train station or bus stop, but nothing stops them from driving to the suburbia and then jumping on the train/tube, or leaving the car in a park & ride area at their home station Trains may be crowded and buses slow (because there are too many cars I hasten to add) but a trip from/to the suburbia doesn't actually take long- 20 minutes on the train at most- and let's face it, all cities in the world are going to have busy trains during rush hour.

    If nothing else these people have to respect the fact that we Londoners have voted for Ken Livingstone, whose main (and some would say only) pledge was to introduce the congestion charge. In the same way that you and me respect the local regulations of any town we visit, the Home Counties Range Rover Brigade should respect our wishes and law enforcements when they come to our city. But no, they try at all costs to stop the scheme or brag about how are they going to buy electronic devices to blank out their number plates as the car goes pass a camera. All cheerfully reported (and encouraged) by that bastion of the law-abiding citizen The Daily Mail.

    I'd rather traffic wasn't so bad that we'd have to introduce such drastic measures. But I for one will be happy to pay my £5 if I need to bring my car into Central London during the restriction hours. At the end of the day this system is better than the Italian, when you cannot drive your car into the city every other day, depending on whether your number plate is an odd or even number.

    It must also be said that the congestion area is not as big as you'd think. The whole of Chelsea, Knightsbridge and other areas are out of the boundary. We're talking an area that is about 3% of Greater London.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think it's the answer, but it's certainly an answer.

    Funny though how a socialist has created a system that only the rich will be able to take advantage of though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's the problem I see with it. City types who earn six-figure sums and already pay up to £10,000 per year for a parking space won't have much of a problem forking out an extra fiver a day.

    It's also funny how these very people, who can afford paying that without even noticing the difference in their bank balances are the ones kicking the big fuss.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You missed the bit about their huge gas guzzling cars...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    and small dicks

    My point is if they bring the charge to my home. Couldn't care less about London, if you can afford to park you can afford to pay.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah I realised afterwards you couldn't have been talking about London Whowhere. Parking on a meter costs now up to £3 per hour in here and you could be going in circles for an hour before you find one.

    I don't think they'd introduce the charge that in Nottingham or any other city in the UK for that matter. The traffic situation in London is easily the worst in Europe and any other UK city is a stroll in the park compared to it. No need for it.

    However some local politician/major might be toying with the idea of introducing the charge to their city under the pretence of making traffic better, knowing how much cash it would produce. That's what people should be watching out for.
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