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Congestion Charge needs urgent reform

At the launch of the London Assembly Transport Committee's report on congestion, London Stalling, Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, chair of the committee, said:

“Something dramatic has to be done about the enormous congestion problem on London’s roads. The issue is costing our city money and costing Londoners their health and wellbeing. Transport for London (TfL) is doing a lot to tackle congestion, but not enough. Road pricing would be a fairer approach, as road users would pay according to how much they contribute to congestion.

"It’s a bold move – but our survey shows that road users are in favour and the current congestion charge is far too blunt an instrument and too narrow in scope.

"Gridlocked London needs to start moving again and tinkering here and there is not going to achieve that. A total rethink about who uses our roads and how is imperative to get the veins and arteries of our great city flowing freely again.”

The overall annual cost to London from traffic delays on busy roads is £5.5 billion - a 30 per cent increase in just two year. The cost of delays for an average vehicle is £20.83 per hour.

London Stalling calls on the Mayor to reform the Congestion Charge and ultimately replace it with road pricing, targeted at areas of congestion, at the times congestion occurs.

It’s a popular idea, with over half of road users responding to a Committee survey saying they support road pricing - only a fifth were opposed.

In the short term, the Congestion Charge should be reformed to better reflect the impact of vehicles on congestion. The daily flat rate should be replaced with a charging structure that ensures vehicles in the zone at peak times, and spending longer in the zone, face the highest charges.

The report also recommends:

  • Reducing restrictions on night-time deliveries
  • Piloting a ban on personal deliveries for staff
  • Reconsidering ‘click and collect’ at Tube and rail stations
  • Devolving Vehicle Excise Duty to the Mayor
  • Piloting a local Workplace Parking Levy