The Positive And Negative Aspects Of The London Congestion Charge

Road pricing is the application of assorted charges to the use of roads. These charges include fuel revenue enhancements, tolls, parking revenue enhancements, license fees, and congestion charges. Pricing may change by clip of twenty-four hours, or by the specific route or vehicle type utilizing the route. The two chief purposes of route pricing are bring forthing gross and pull offing demand. The latter can be achieved through congestion pricing, which is a system of surcharging users of a conveyance web in periods of peak demand to cut down traffic volumes to optimum degrees. This variable pricing scheme aims to modulate demand, therefore enabling congestion direction without increasing supply. Market economic sciences theory, which includes the congestion pricing construct, proposes that route users will be forced to pay for the negative outwardnesss they create, doing them witting of the costs they impose upon each other when devouring during the peak demand, and more aware of their environmental impact. The very impression of urban congestion pricing was proposed in London as a response to the challenges faced by the Ministry of Transport around 1960. These challenges consisted of a important addition in the figure of new auto enrollments, the considerable cost of congestion for the route users due to the reduced mean travel velocity and corresponding hold, and other negative impacts on the environment. In this respect, the positive and negative facets of the London congestion charge can be considered as follows:

Positive Aspects Of The London Congestion Charge:

Analyzing the consequences of the TfL survey ( 2003 ) indicates that the most of import positive facet of the London congestion charge is the time-saving to drivers and riders of vehicles that continue to utilize the route system after bear downing is introduced – including autos, taxis, coachs, and commercial vehicles within and outside the bear downing zone. This is a common point highlighted by Leape ( 2006 ) , Mackie ( 2005 ) , Raux ( 2005 ) and Prud’homme and Bocajero ‘s ( 2005 ) . In add-on to time-saving, a reduced travel clip and an improved journey clip dependability ( of an norm of 30 % ) are two other cardinal positive facets of the congestion charge ( Leape,2006, Mackie,2005, Raux,2005 and P & A ; B,2005 ) . Factors that contribute to these two positives include an about 30 % decrease in congestion, a 30 % lessening in traffic holds inside the zone, an 18 % lessening in traffic come ining the zone during bear downing hours, and a 15 % decrease in traffic circulating ( vehicle Km ) within the zone. Evidence on mean travel velocities on roads inside the bear downing zone indicates that the all-day mean web travel velocities increased from a pre-charging norm about 17 % ( Leape,2006 ) . Other benefits include a considerable lessening in line uping clip at junctions ( Leape,2006 ) , the environmental benefit of cut downing the pollution emanations by 34 % ( P & A ; B,2005 ) , and an betterment in safety, by 2-5 % or 30-70 fewer accidents per twelvemonth for Central London ( Mackie, 2005 ) . Through reapportioning route infinite from private autos to public transit ( Leape,2006 ) , the congestion charge has increased public conveyance backing. For illustration, coach riders come ining the bear downing zone in the forenoon peak period rose by 38 % , while figure of private autos decreased by 16 % , which in add-on to direct clip nest eggs, reduced accidents and lowered C dioxide emanations ( Leape,2006 ) . Increased figure of bus riders and decreased mean operating costs ( increased velocity, travel clip dependability ) have enabled suppliers to offer some combination of improved service degrees ( more paths, higher frequences ) and lower menus ( Leape,2006 ) . These effects can promote an even greater usage of public conveyance whilst besides cut downing mean costs per rider to transport suppliers, taking to farther displacements from auto travel to public conveyance, and an extra decrease in congestion.

Negative Aspects Of The London Congestion Charge:

The higher-than-expected set-up and operational costs for the congestion charge must be considered as the most outstanding negative facet. In London, the operational costs were more than twice the degree ab initio estimated ( execution costs averaged ?95 million in the first two old ages ) . This resulted in the net one-year gross falling far abruptly of expected degrees ( Leape,2006, Mackie,2005, Raux,2005 and P & A ; B,2005 ) . A congestion charge is likely to hold different effects across concerns and land value in the long term. Negative effects are the altering land-use forms and decreased land value caused by a limitation on auto mobility within the congestion charge country ( Tehran Congestion Charge Study, 2005 ) . This lessening in auto trips could hold an inauspicious impact on retail concerns located within the congestion country, whereas it could profit those outside the zone ( Leape,2006 ) .


Although the cost-benefit estimations for the London congestion charge, produced by Transport for London ( 2003a ) , is capable to some contention by P & A ; B ( 2005 ) , Mackie ( 2005 ) and Charles ( 2005 ) , by and large the London congestion charge has been both a political and practical success in cut downing congestion and related negative outwardnesss. It has besides been met with a high degree of satisfaction from most Londoners. As mentioned above, the time-savings to drivers and riders of vehicles ensuing from increased mean velocity and reduced hold is the most of import positive facet of congestion bear downing. Increasing dependability of travel clip for auto and coach, diminishing queuing clip at junctions, diminishing the degree of pollution emanation and bettering safety, every bit good as bettering public conveyance backing and bettering its degree of service all must be considered as positive facets of congestion charges. In contrast, the high operational costs of running the strategy is the dominant negative facet of congestion bear downing. This can significantly act upon the net one-year gross for the congestion bear downing strategy. Furthermore, other factors such as diminishing the flow of mobility in the congestion bear downing zone in the long term can take to altering the land-use forms and likely diminishing the land value. As mentioned by P & A ; B ( 2005 ) there were concerns that the deviating impact of the congestion charge could take to higher degrees of congestion on the interior ring route that borders the zone and the country environing congestion zone, which needs to be considered in more item. Therefore, a grade of cautiousness is appropriate before generalising from the London experience.