London Releases Its Fifth Annual Congestion Pricing Study

Congestion_Pricing.jpg 

Transport for London is out today with its fifth annual Congestion Charging Impacts Monitoring Report. If you’ve never seen any of the previous reports, it’s worth a look. The 279-page document — you can download the whole thing here — provides a remarkably detailed assessment of the overall performance of London’s surface transportation system (Compare it to the DOT section of Mayor’s Management Report here in New York City and you will understand how much catching up we have to do).

Here are some of this year’s findings from London:

  • Congestion Charging has maintained reduced levels of traffic in central
    London and cut congestion in the western extension by up to 25 per
    cent.
  • In 2006, around 70,000 fewer vehicles entered the same area each day.
  • Before charging began, some 334,000 vehicles entered the original zone each day.
  • An increase in cycling within the zone of 43 per cent.
  • Congestion Charge generated provisional net revenues of
    £123m in 2006/07, which will be spent on further improvements to
    transport across London, particularly bus services.
  • Further analysis of economic trend data continues to demonstrate
    that there have been no significant impacts from the original scheme on
    the London economy. Indeed, the London economy has been particularly strong over recent
    years, with recent retail growth at roughly twice the national growth
    rate.

Photo: Aaron Naparstek, March 2007

  • Red

    Hmm, suspiciously good timing…

    Well, not so good timing, actually, but I’m sure it’s not easy to speed up the release of a 279-page document.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Some good news for us in Queens on Pages 33-34:

    Traffic on a number of roads surrounding the central London charging zone has been monitored at the request of individual boroughs. […] TfL has previously reported that the overall picture at these sites was of slowly declining traffic, and that there was no evidence from these data of significant adverse traffic impacts on local roads that might have resulted from charging. The indicators for 2006 continue this trend, with traffic levels on the whole noticeably down on pre-charging values in 2002. This mirrors the general background decline to traffic in central and inner London as highlighted elsewhere in this report.

    And on Pages 264-265:

    TfL has also made extensive provision for monitoring wider
    traffic changes outside the immediate western extension zone.

    TfL expected overall reductions in radial traffic in an ‘annulus’ surrounding the
    extension zone, reflecting fewer trips being made to and from the extension zone. […]

    The picture here (Figure 14.16) is one of consistent reductions of between 6
    and 7 percent […] Emerging results from both of these indicators are consistent with the traffic changes observed in the extension zone itself and on the boundary route, and with TfL’s expectations for the scheme.

    In other words, people’s worries that their neighborhoods might become “rat runs” proved to be unfounded.