Red Ken and his congestion. - Dwight Van Driver
Many of the visitors to this site will live out in the sticks like me and whilst having heard of the proposed congestion charges about to hit London next month, may well have just taken a passive interest as it doesn't really affect us.

However I would recommend all to read an in depth article on how it is going to work that appears in todays (07.01.03) Times review on the Web,
Select C for Car etc on the right.

Why do I feel very uneasy after reading this?


Red Ken and his congestion. - volvoman
DVD - sadly, if the CC works, methinks folks all over the UK will be taking rather more than a passive interest sooner than they think !
Red Ken and his congestion. - CM
Seems I don't have permission to enter that www!

Anyway I can guess at the gist of the story that CC will become a blanket operation around the country.

What interests me is that all these councils are planning to go full steam ahead even before the London one is deemed a success/failure. Now Ken did say that he would stop the experiment if he deemed it a failure (ha ha!)!!!
Red Ken and his congestion. - Steve S
Hold your horses guys.

No doubt it will spread (if successful, big IF) but towns will want business so decisions that threaten to keep large numbers of customers away will not be that easy.

Also if there are serious problems with London you watch politicians moonwalking away from it - sharpish!

"Success has many fathers - failure is always an orphan".

All of them (all parties) having been keeping quiet - 'cos if it reduces traffic in London they all want to be part of it.

Dontcha just luv 'em!

Perhaps if the UK public were a bit more French about these things - we wouldn't get shafted so easily.
Red Ken and his congestion. - 3500S
The London congestion charge will be a overwhelming success.

Why ?

One reason. The GLA retimed all the traffic lights around the congestion area to CREATE congestion over the last six months.

On a recent trip into Central London in my car and four passengers (and my last journey into London) it was bordering on the ridiculous.

It was a friend's party near Trafalgar Square starting at about 5pm. It's a big no-go area at the moment owing to the new piazza being built outside the National Gallery. So I opted to park up not far from Piccadilly and we'd walk the mile to Trafalgar Square.

The drive was alright coming down the M4/A4 only really bad on the 'red carpet' section of the M4 (when isn't it bad?). Then the fun started...

The junction for the Earls Court turn off was seriously snarled up, the junction was letting three cars through at a time so all the cars were stuck. Usually it's at least a dozen maybe more. To make matters worse the left hand drive onto the A4 was letting in masses of cars making the queue longer.

Then onto driving towards Piccadilly Circus, the lights near the Ritz were red with a really long left hand filter that leads roughly nowhere. I was only ten cars in front thinking I'd make it, it was on a 15 second change with about a two minute wait.

Then all the traffic is set to converge onto the circus. Normally these are a marvel to behold because it is really busy not only with cars but suicidal tourists. It took 45 minutes to 'drive' a half mile section to the circus, even the pedestrian crossing lights were on a timer. The lights were all a total mess and the circus was gridlocked. Even during Christmas, it is never that bad. So a journey that normally takes 45 minutes tops took 95 minutes.

The party was great, we got back to the car, navigated through Soho and onto Oxford Street to get to the A40. I'm not joking, this was 1.30am. Every single set of lights on Oxford Street and there are a good dozen, were red, red, red ...... It took 25 minutes to get down Oxford Street yet the road was 'quiet' and there was hardly any traffic merging onto Oxford Street. Then once on the A40 near Euston, the same problems for the next three miles when magically the lights were all timed properly.

So once the congestion charge is introduced, all these lights will be restored to their original timings. Hey presto, everyone think congestion charging works.
Red Ken and his congestion. - BrianW
If it spreads the problem is going to be that every city will use a different system.

I can imagine the car widscreen covered in machine readable tickets, buying tokens on the M6 for Coventry, Warwick, Rugby and Birmingham, etc. etc..

It could easily become total chaos.
Red Ken and his congestion. - CM
Hold your horses guys.
No doubt it will spread (if successful, big IF) but towns
will want business so decisions that threaten to keep large numbers
of customers away will not be that easy.

I read that Durham has lost a huge number of customers to the city centre and that the traders are really not happy. I think that they said 90% drop in traffic so I suppose that Sainsburys/Tesco/Asda etc must be quite happy
Red Ken and his congestion. - Steve S
Interesting point CM. I've not been to Durham but perhaps one of the backroomers that lives that way could enlighten us?

I seem to remember a previous post saying that the streets affected there were ye olde cobbled lanes, and therefore not really suitable for traffic.

Has it gone wider?
Red Ken and his congestion. - Thommo

The problem is that politicians don't tell the truth. The London traffic congestion charge HAS to be a success for Ken as its the only way he can raise money to bribe the special interest groups to vote for him, sorry, that should have read fund worthwhile schemes in the Capital. The only way it will be removed is if it so unpopular that there is a real chance that Ken will not be re-elected.

Whether its a success or no Ken will say it is and he will be backed up by all the usually loonies who think anything thats anti-car is a GOOD THING and the Bolshevik Broadcasting Company et al will give massive exposure to their views and none to people trying to talk sense.

Once other councils see that Ken's got away with it and not been trown out of office they will all get their noses in the trough pronto.

In Blairs Britain the dice is loaded against us guys. The only way is the French way, everybody ignores the charge and if your car is clamped cut it off, it its toweed then turn up at the pound with your mates and burn it to the ground (after removing the cars). Problem solved. That what happened when they started impounding cars in Paris!
Red Ken and his congestion. - BrianW
The attitude of the British public reminds me of the concentration camp victims who knew that they were going to the gas chambers but still walked to their deaths without protest.
Until enough people have the courage to smash the instruments of oppression the screws will turn tighter and tighter.
Red Ken and his congestion. - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Bin liners over cameras.

These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Red Ken and his congestion. - wemyss
I do so agree Brian. We the people are the softest touch in the world to control. All our resentment to so many things which happen are confined to the pub and over the garden fence.
The country has been taken out of our hands and no concern is shown to the indigenous ordinary people.
Even radio 4 plays which my wife now refuses to listen to because virtually every one features either minority groups or foreigners.
And as Thommmo says they could never do this to the French as they simply wouldn't put up with it.
And who is to blame?. ourselves of course..
When we can get half a million demonstrating in London about little red animals and countryside issues, and remain silent over far bigger issues such as reclaiming our country we deserve what we get.
Red Ken and his congestion. - mab23
When I went to Durham a few weeks ago the only road covered by the charge was one through a shopping street that anywhere else would have been long pedestrianised, the only reason it isn't is I think because it's the only route to a few people's houses etc.

Red Ken and his congestion. - Mark (RLBS)
Could someone tell me the extent that the Congestion Scheme Zone covers London ?

I was talking to someone the other day, and they seemed to think it was a much smaller area than I did.
Red Ken and his congestion. - Mark (RLBS)
Forget it, I just found a map.

Essentially its Park Lane across to Aldgate and Kings Cross down to the Vauxhall Bridge.

I think I withdraw any objection I had to this scheme. I never drive in that far anyway, and for sure the buses and taxis should get an easier time. And within that area I use either taxis or the tube since the roads are so awful.

Within that circle its a nightmare anyway. I wouldn´t be bothered if he banned all private vehicles totally, never mind charge them a fiver or whatever.

Red Ken and his congestion. - BrianW
Basically it's inside what laughably passes as the inner ring road.
At the moment there is quite a bit of through traffic which goes e.g. east/west via the Embankment and north/south via Tottenham Court Road.
All that traffic will be skirting the area when the charges come in so e.g. Euston Road/Marylebone Road, City Road, Paddington etc. will be jammed solid.
Even now the roads immediately outside the charge area are worse than tose inside. That will get MUCH worse.
Red Ken and his congestion. - HF
I thought I'd read somewhere that this scheme was aimed at roads within a 50 mile diameter of Central London. Is that untrue?
Red Ken and his congestion. - BrianW
The Livingstone scheme is purely central London, covering an areas approx two miles square controlled by a ring of cameras linked to numberplate recognition software.

The 50 mile scheme is entirely separate and is still only an idea.
No idea how that would work in detail, but it would probably require global positioning technology fitted to every vehicle in the country, including overseas visitors.
Red Ken and his congestion. - HF
Thanks Brian
Red Ken and his congestion. - SteveH42
Durham City Council are probably the biggest bunch of morons on the planet. The congestion charging scheme is bordering on the pointless and is just another example of how they have totally lost the plot. They have managed to lose two major leisure facilities in the city while building some of the most horrible new buildings in what used to be a very beautiful city.

The congestion charged area is the road from the market place in Durham up to the Cathedral and Castle. It does lead to houses as well as parts of the University. There is little parking up there - really, the only reason anyone but locals would want to use it would be to get to the Cathedral. They'd be better off closing it completely during the day and make traffic come in the back way over the river. The road is very narrow - even the footpaths are narrow, and is single lane with traffic lights controlling direction of traffic flow.

I think the main problem with the system is that it has reduced traffic so much that it's no longer covering the costs.
Red Ken and his congestion. - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Does this apply to bikes?

I've thought this didn't apply to me but I've just remembered I regularly go south to north and back often accross tower bridge and up the A10 into Islington.

Will my numberplate have to be covered?
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Red Ken and his congestion. - BrianW

Bikes are exempt, so you are OK.
Red Ken and his congestion. - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Bikes are exempt, so you are OK.

Phew! They'll be trying to keep me out of bus lanes next!!!
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.


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