New Congestion Charge – London Living Streets Response

Transport for London (TfL) is currently consulting on the future of the Congestion Charge.

The details are set out here

There is a survey to respond to here

If you could take a few minutes to repond to the survey before the deadline of 6th October perhaps including some or all of the following that would be really appreciated

London Living Streets supports:

1. The retention of the increase in the charge to £15 and the removal of Autopay discount. We wish to see mechanisms for future regular increases in the charge at above inflation levels with the potential to link the CCZ charge to the achievement of the traffic reduction targets set out in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.

2. The principle of charging at the weekend.

Overall we believe that if the Mayor wants people to come into the CCZ area to socialise at weekends and evenings, it makes no sense to encourage people to drive in thus creating an unpleasant, polluted and unsafe street environment at the same time that many who have arrived by public transport and active forms of travel are using the streets (as part of the night-time economy). Enabling driving into this part of central London will have the effect of making London more dangerous for people walking and cycling, because of increased traffic volumes. It is vital that we remember that across the Inner London boroughs almost two-thirds of households do not have access to a motor vehicle. While we need to enable access for those who are disabled, in the light of the MTS targets and now the climate emergency, the priority is to support those who make use of active forms of travel (walking, cycling and public transport). To be enabling driven journeys in this way is contrary to transport policy in London.

London Living Streets recommends:

1. That owing to the numbers of people walking, cycling and using public transport in the evenings, that the charge should continue until 10pm on all seven days of the week and that the charging period at weekends should begin at 7am. Overall we believe that ending the charge at 6pm will be a retrograde step that will reduce London’s efforts to a) improve air quality, b) reduce CO2 emissions and c) meet Vision Zero obligations. A specific analysis of the impact of the earlier end to charging should appear in the impact assessment.

2. That the discount for residents is excessive and should be reduced significantly.

3. That a far wider principle of charging for motor vehicles using London’s roads is needed and that for many reasons (inc reducing road danger, improving air quality and reducing CO2 emissions) London needs to move on very quickly to a London-wide universal smart road pricing system (potentially as set out by the Centre for London in 2019 in its report https://www.centreforlondon.org/publication/road-user-charging/)

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