Motorists heading into London could soon find they’re charged for driving on each road they use, as a new study claims the current single Congestion Charge zone should be scrapped.
The report, called London Stalling, produced by the London Assembly transport committee claims clogged streets are costing an average vehicle £20.83 per hour. In its report, the committee puts forward a scheme where drivers are charged for using congested areas at peak times – as opposed to the flat rate applied by the current Congestion Charge.
A survey by the authors found more than 50% of road users supported the idea, with just 20% actively opposing the proposal.
Congestion charge reform in the interim
While the prospect of targeted road charging would be some way off, the committee put forward the idea of reforming the current Congestion Charge, saying: “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.”
Other recommendations for London’s roads from the committee
Easing 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
Speaking on the capital’s congestion issues, Caroline Pidgeon, chair of the London Assembly transport committee said: “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.”
While the proposals seem to be a hit with car drivers, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has voiced concerns that commercial operators were not surveyed.
It said: “Any proposed road pricing scheme to replace the Congestion Charge should target drivers who have a choice whether to use London’s roads.”