Mayor Livingstone Extends Congestion Charge Westward

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The BBC reports:

London’s congestion charge zone roughly doubled in size with a westward expansion coming into force. The £8-a-day road toll scheme now takes in most of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea in west London.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: "The zone was, until now, one of the most congested areas in the UK and first indications are that traffic levels have been reduced as expected by the scheme. "London is again taking the lead in tackling the problem of traffic congestion and emissions which blight virtually every major city in the world."

Of course, the American media has a slightly different perspective. MSNBC’s headline reads, London’s Eccentric Mayor Opens New Traffic War.

Photo: Andy Lock/Flickr

  • Spud Spudly

    Headline: London Expands No-Go Zone for Non-Wealthy Motorists

    Subhead 1: Average Blokes Walk While Others Cruise

    Subhead 2: Lack of Creative Vision Enforces Class Divisions

    Paris Hilton seen laughing.

    Print it!

  • That MSNBC (via AP) article is wonderfully insane. You know you’re on to something when you’re criticized both for being X and for not being X. In this case, Livingstone needs to “Listen to the people” and also, he should stop latching on to “what’s the latest popular idea.” When he’s done with that, I suppose he can help the poor by encouraging the use of vehicles they can’t afford.

  • Christian

    The first congestion zone was a great idea. Expanding was NOT. Residents get a 90% discount and many of the people that live in the expanded part of the zone commute to the City. I have a feeling this will increase congestion in the original zone.

    http://news.hereisthecity.com/news/business_news/6510.cntns

  • MD

    Spud,

    It’s not a “no-go” zone it’s a no-drive zone. There’s a big difference.

    Here’s a better headline: Tax Burden on Lower Classes Falls as Wealthy Pay More to Drive

  • Spud Spudly

    A no-drive zone is a no-go zone for motorists. If they’re walking they’re not motorists.

    Taxes won’t go down because of this, but there’s a small chance they may increase less in the future — the tradeoff being that you can’t drive anymore.

  • MD

    You’ll still be able to drive – you’ll just have to pay for it. No different than trains and buses, which aren’t mainly for the rich.

    If the revenue is being collected mainly from the rich, as you claim, the poor and middle class will shoulder a smaller share of the overall tax burden. That’s progressive.

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