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Ken Livingstone on Congestion Pricing in New York

2:34 PM EDT on April 26, 2007

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In his most recent article for the Guardian, London mayor Ken Livingstone applauds Mayor Bloomberg's plan to introduce congestion pricing in New York City:

New York is now to get congestion charging modelled on London's successful scheme. Isn't it about time the naysayers admitted they were wrong?

Retail sales in central London are far outperforming those in the rest of the country. The West End theatre trade is strong. Tourism is growing strongly. Congestion charging has achieved exactly what it was designed to do -- not cut the number of journeys, but shift them from private cars to public transport. It has cut congestion, and cut environmental damage, with the economy continuing to boom.

New York's decision is a final nail in thecoffin of the claim by rightwing pressure groups andanti-environmentalists that policies being pursued in London areagainst the interests of its economy -- for the one thing that cannot beclaimed against New York is that it is an anti-business city!

Now that New York is adopting congestion charging, I hope the small, unrepresentative rightwing pressure groups campaigning against congestion charging and, in particular, the Conservative party, will admit they were wrong.

Photo: anthonymaher/Flickr

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