The London Congestion Charge

I have always been in favour of the congestion charge providing it was applied in an intelligent way to achieve the proper, desirable ends. These are to reduce traffic congestion that harms the national and London economy, and raise some money to improve public transport. It is important that all visitors to London contribute - not just UK residents, not just London residents or those working in London. The zone was well chosen, the implementation quite well and in some aspects very well done.

The next stage needed to be even more intelligent, based on experience, but it seems it is not. An intelligent approach would be to give some registered users 3 days a week at the present rate (say Monday, Wednesday  and Friday), and Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday at £10. Others would have Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday at £5 and Mon, Wed and Fri at £10. People who did not register or pay by one of the methods compatible with the running of such a scheme would have to pay £8. The other special reductions in force would remain.

The result of the above would be to decrease congestion RADICALLY, making buses more efficient, deliveries more efficient, and allowing shoppers to shop. This achieves the desirable and proper ends listed in paragraph one.

Is there something I have overlooked? Why should we not have the right to intelligent government?

JB November 30th 2004