Congestion Charging - A success? - Cardew
A number of threads in the Backroom comment on the success or otherwise of London Congestion Charging.

Transport for London(TFL) have monitored the traffic and produced a report after over a year of operation. Some findings:

Approximately 550,000 congestion charge payments are made each week.

Congestion within the charging zone has reduced by 30 percent, and the volume of traffic in the charging zone has reduced by 15 percent.

Measurements on the Inner Ring Road continue to show small reductions in congestion compared to pre-charging levels, reflecting better operational management of this key route, despite slightly higher traffic flows. There is no evidence of systematic increases in traffic on local roads outside the charging zone, during charging hours, in response to the introduction of the charge.

On buses there is a 38 percent increase in patronage and a 23 percent increase in service provision compared with 2002. About half of the increased patronage is estimated to be due to congestion charging. Within the charging zone there were marked improvements in both the main indicators of bus service reliability: additional waiting time due to service irregularity fell by 30 percent; disruption due to traffic delays fell by 60 percent. Overall bus speeds within the charging zone improved by 6 percent; after allowing for time spent at bus stops, this is compatible with the improved speeds of general traffic within the charging zone.

Of the 65,000 to 70,000 car trips that are no longer made to the charging zone during charging hours: between 50 and 60 percent have transferred to public transport, 20 to 30 percent now divert around the charging zone (these being trips with both
origins and destinations outside of the zone), and 15 to 25 percent have made other adaptations, such as changing the timing of trips.

By reducing the overall volumes of traffic within the charging zone, and increasing the efficiency with which it circulates, congestion charging has been directly responsible for reductions of approximately 12 percent in emissions of both oxides of nitrogen (NOx)and fine particles (PM10) from road traffic (based on 24-hour annual average day);


One could argue that TFL have a vested interest in declaring the scheme a success but I cannot believe they have invented the statistics. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that congestion charging has broadly achieved what it set out to do.

One thing is certain - it will be coming to a city near you soon.
Congestion Charging - A success? - just a bloke
before CC my journey to work took an average of one a quarter hours.

Post CC it never takes less than 2 hours and frequently 3 hours.

I work on the perifery of the zone (I don't enter it). That strikes me as an impact on surrounding roads.

All that displaced traffic has to be somewhere it can't just vanish, if it were that easy there would be no problem.

JaB

Congestion Charging - A success? - NowWheels
All that displaced traffic has to be somewhere it can't just
vanish, if it were that easy there would be no problem.


JAB, the idea was not quite to vanish it, but to displace it onto public transport, which uses the scarce roadspace much more efficiently. If TfL's claim of a 38% increase in bus patronage is remotely accurate, that suggests that much of the traffic has gone where it was intended -- out of cars.
Congestion Charging - A success? - just a bloke
>> All that displaced traffic has to be somewhere it can't
just
>> vanish, if it were that easy there would be no
problem.
JAB, the idea was not quite to vanish it, but to
displace it onto public transport, which uses the scarce roadspace much
more efficiently. If TfL's claim of a 38% increase in bus
patronage is remotely accurate, that suggests that much of the traffic
has gone where it was intended -- out of cars.


I'm sure that was the intention but my journey to work suggests that a lot it hasn't.
Congestion Charging - A success? - Myles
One thing it fails to mention is the reported negative impact on businesses within the CC zone.
Congestion Charging - A success? - BazzaBear {P}
There are certain parts of this rpess release which I'm not too sure about:
Congestion within the charging zone has reduced by 30 percent, and
the volume of traffic in the charging zone has reduced by
15 percent.


What is their definition of 'congestion'. If the volume of traffic has only fallen by 15%, how does 'congestion' fall by twice as much? Are they defining this as cars being stationary for a certain amount of time?
Measurements on the Inner Ring Road continue to show small reductions
in congestion compared to pre-charging levels, reflecting better operational management of
this key route, despite slightly higher traffic flows.


So that is admitted to have absolutely nothing to do with CC then? There is higher traffic flow, suggesting that the CC has increased the traffic using this, but independantly of this, other measures have improved this.

There is no
evidence of systematic increases in traffic on local roads outside the
charging zone, during charging hours, in response to the introduction of
the charge.


OK, but when every other claim on here is made with figures, why is there none displayed for this? Again, this suggests somewhat subjective thinking. Who's definition of 'no evidence' is being used? In what ways did they look for evidence?
On buses there is a 38 percent increase in patronage and
a 23 percent increase in service provision compared with 2002.


So they have increased the amount of journeys which buses are making by 23%, and the amount of journeys which people are making by bus has increased by 38%?
So how much of that 38% increase is due to the 23% increase in possible journeys? I would guess at least 23%, and probably substantially more, so yet again, is this increase anything to do with the CC?

About
half of the increased patronage is estimated to be due to
congestion charging.


Hmm... So they're claiming a 19% due to CC and presumably 19% due to the extra routes/journeys. I wonder how they made that estimate. Just as a gut instinct it would seem to me that if you increase the usability of a method of PT by a certain percent the usage will increase by at least that percentage, suggesting that the increase due to CC is much lower than that.

Of the 65,000 to 70,000 car trips that are no longer
made to the charging zone during charging hours:


Per day? Week? Month?
between 50 and
60 percent have transferred to public transport,


Again, a lot of that is down to the better bus service, nothing to do with the CC.

By reducing the overall volumes of traffic within the charging zone,
and increasing the efficiency with which it circulates, congestion charging has
been directly responsible for reductions of approximately 12 percent in emissions
of both oxides of nitrogen (NOx)and fine particles (PM10) from road
traffic (based on 24-hour annual average day);


Very picky this one, but can they claim with 100% certainty that absolutely no other variables whasoever were involved in this reduction?
Also, when was the before measurement taken and when the after? They could be using a figure from 10 years ago when cars polluted more in general anyway.
Congestion Charging - A success? - nick
Come on people, admit it. Ken was right and it works. He's voted back in too.

There, that wasn't too difficult was it?

Congestion Charging - A success? - Stuartli
No, Ken is a hypocrite. He claims to want to cut down traffic congestion to get more people using public transport.

Yet the same man, according to newspaper allegations/claims, spends thousands of pounds every year of Londoners' council tax on taxis to get him here, there and everywhere ; every so often he gets on a bus or tube it seems when the image needs to be burnished for TV etc.

Bit like John Prescott using rail to get to Hull whilst his official Jag is being driven up to carry him around on his arrival; he's even been reported/alleged to have nipped off the train about 50 miles out of Hull and use the Jag for the rest of the journey back to London.....

What amazes me is that Londoners actually voted - although not in such a high percentage this time - for Ken to carry on running his personal fifedom.

But, in fairness, Ken is probably only emulating the example provided by far more prominent politicians in the Labour party.
Congestion Charging - A success? - Mark (RLBS)
I deleted a conversation I started.

Apologies if this took out something else which was interesting and important.
Congestion Charging - A success? - NowWheels
Yet the same man, according to newspaper allegations/claims, spends thousands of
pounds every year of Londoners' council tax on taxis to get
him here, there and everywhere ; every so often he gets
on a bus or tube it seems when the image needs
to be burnished for TV etc.


I don't think that's actually the pattern, but even if it was all taxis, that's a heck of a lot better than the council leaders all round the country (including my own council) who maintain chauffered jags at taxpayers' expense!
Congestion Charging - A success? - pdc {P}
Yesterday Tameside Council sent around printouts of calls made from desk phones in their council offices. It caused a right old rumpous I can tell you. I almost expected people to down tools because of it. All in the name of cost saving you see.

That being the case, why does the mayor deem it ok to be chauffer driven in a large volvo, with leather seats etc. Surely a Ford Ka would suffice, which he could drive himself?

But no. This guy has been elected by the populous, so he must be important, right?
Congestion Charging - A success? - BrianW
There's a lot of difference between a few square miles in the centre of a large city which is well served by numerous forms of public transport and the other 99% of the country.
Congestion Charging - A success? - patently
The congestion charging scheme has been a complete, total, and unqualified success. No question. It has achieved its initial goal 100%.

Just look at the evidence. Ken has indeed been re-elected.

There you are.
Congestion Charging - A success? - alex

Cardew ...

You're correct, bus patronage has increased substantially. But look at the cost !

So many more buses are now on the road that the service is now in deficit to the tune of several hundred million pounds and it's rising all the time.

The Congestion Charge was supposed to cover the cost of running the extras buses but the revenue raised has fallen short.

So who's going to foot the bill ?

Alex



Congestion Charging - A success? - Cardew
Cardew ...
You're correct, bus patronage has increased substantially. But
look at the cost !
So many more buses are now on the road that the
service is now in deficit to the tune of several hundred
million pounds and it's rising all the time.
The Congestion Charge was supposed to cover the cost of running
the extras buses but the revenue raised has fallen short.
So who's going to foot the bill ?
Alex

Alex,
I am not an apologist for the Congestion Charge, I merely quoted some conclusions from the TfL report.

It is inescapable that there will be negative aspects when a scheme like this is introduced and you may well be right that the revenue raised does not cover the extra expenditure on public transport - I simply do not know. Many individuals having to find another £1k a year, without a viable alternative, are also hard hit.

The problem Ken faces is the classic 'law of diminishing returns'. Pitch the charge too high and he will get less revenue. Pitch it too low and it will not deter enough cars to reduce congestion sufficiently.

Given his declared aim some years ago it seems to me that he has got it about right.

C

Congestion Charging - A success? - alex

Cardew

See "Hop on, Conductor Ken is taking us all for a ride," www.telegraph.co.uk March 20, 2004 which revealed the cost of developing the extra bus passengers. The money raised from the Congestion Charge will not cover it.

I quote:

"When Ken Livingstone became Mayor in July 2000, the subsidy for London buses from taxpayers was just under £90m. This year (2004) it will reach £600m."

"Peter Hendy, the Tfl buses' chief freely admits "it's heading for £1 billion by 2009/2010."

Of course, the big bus firms are delighted with the subsidies. Brian Souter, CEO of Stagecoach denied that running buses in London was a licence to print money. He says "We light candles for him [Ken Livingstone] every morning and we're very grateful. But we have put plenty of cash into London over the past four or five years."

According to the article "every bus passenger in London is subsidised by 35 pence. ... on average London buses run only 16% full."

Yes, it's good to see passengers returning to the buses again. But ultimately somebody is going to have to pay for it.

Alex


Congestion Charging - A success? - BrianW
According to the article "every bus passenger in London is subsidised by 35 pence. ... on average London buses run only 16% full."

And that is the average, including peak hours on peak routes.

A large proportion of the buses I see have six to ten passengers.
Nobody seems to have cottoned on that if frequency is doubled but passenger numbers only go up by ten percent you don't need such big buses.
If bus numbers go up any more they will be able to be replaced by taxis (subsidised by taxpayers, naturally).
Congestion Charging - A success? - Cardew
Alex/BrianW

I agree with you about the cost and under-utilisation of buses. The taxpayer is picking up the tab as he does for the Tube and trains.

But isn't this the problem with any public transport system in rural or urban environments. To have an infrastructure capable of handling all the of the rush hour passengers it is bound to be under-utilised outside of these hours.

Unfortunately you cannot employ bus crew who work, say, 2 hours in the morning and then a further 2 hours in the evening, so do you pay them to sit in the Garage or send them out to provide a service? As for smaller buses Brian. The large buses can hardly cope during the rush hour - it is usually standing room only. I suggest it would hardly be cost effective to have an additional fleet of small buses.

OK so you have defined what you perceive to be the problem, what is your solution?

C
Congestion Charging - A success? - v0n
patently wrote:
"The congestion charging scheme has been a complete, total, and unqualified success. No question. It has achieved its initial goal 100%.

Just look at the evidence. Ken has indeed been re-elected."


You are joking right?

Ken Livingstone was reelected by a little over 35% votes of a little under 37% of all people entitled to vote. That's right Ken was reelected by only 1/3 of votes from minority of Londoners. In other words Ken won, because there was too many candidates and none of them was actually good enough. But all together candidates that proclamed end to CC received more votes than Ken anyway... Not that it matters now.
Congestion Charging - A success? - patently
You are joking right?


He still won.
Congestion Charging - A success? - barney100
The charging is a lesson to us all. When you want to raise money as a politician and you have control of the roads find some excuse to charge motorists for use of roads they have already paid for. This raises millions of £s and you can hide behind pollution and congestion etc and look as if you are doing something positive. Humps, sleeping policemen, congestion charge, insurance tax, vat, fuel taxes, cameras, road tax that goes anywhere but on roads......strewth I,m getting into a real old moaner.
Congestion Charging - A success? - PhilW
"STAGECOACH tycoon Brian Souter has been handed a 72 per cent pay rise after switching jobs from chairman to chief executive.

Souter, who set up the company with his sister in 1980 with just two buses, saw his salary of £465,000 swell to more than £800,000 last year.

According to the Perth-based company?s annual report and accounts he also picks up a £322,000 performance bonus, £18,000 in perks and a £60,000 payment into his pension pot."

"In 1996, he bought the Swedish national railway?s bus business, then firms in Africa, New Zealand, Europe and China. He was quick to spot the potential in rail privatisation. In South West Trains, he has the biggest single rail franchise and later took a 49 per cent stake in Virgin Rail. "

Does this also come out of the subsidies taxpayers pay? I also seem to remember him being in the Sunday Times rich list.
Congestion Charging - A success? - Mapmaker
Measurements on the Inner Ring Road continue to show small reductions
in congestion compared to pre-charging levels, reflecting better operational management of
this key route, despite slightly higher traffic flows.


>So that is admitted to have absolutely nothing to do with CC >then? There is higher traffic flow, suggesting that the CC has >increased the traffic using this, but independantly of this, >other measures have improved this.

Not that we didn't know this at the time, with pre-congestion-charge-roadworks-'gate'.



Congestion Charging - A success? - Stuartli
Have you managed to even be a tiny fraction as successful during the past 24 years?

Wonderful how the British knock success yet, without it, we'd all be the poorer.

 

Value my car