Tuesday, August 6, 2019
The London Congestion Charge is now a reality Essay Example for Free
The London Congestion Charge is now a reality Essay Background info: Congestion charging is a way of ensuring that those using valuable and congested road space make a financial contribution. The scheme requires drivers to pay Ã ¯Ã ¿Ã ½5 per day if they wish to drive in Central London during the schemes hours of operation. The scheme relies on 700 video cameras, which will scan the rear license plates of the motorists who enter the area between 7am and 6:30pm during the working week. This information will be matched each night against a database of drivers who have paid the charge either by phone, via the Internet or at shops and petrol forecourts. Except for those with exemptions (the disabled, taxis, nurses etc.) anyone who fails to pay by midnight will be fined Ã ¯Ã ¿Ã ½80. The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone put the scheme in place on February 2003. The scheme is live Monday- Friday, 7am- 6:30pm (excluding public holidays). Residents are entitled to a 90% discount and those with a disabled blue badge, taxis and licensed mini cabs, and drivers of clean-engine vehicles, among others, will be able to drive in the congestion charge zone for free. The situation prior to the charging was that: * London suffers from the worst traffic congestion in the UK and is amongst the worst in Europe. * Drivers in London spend 50% of their time in queues. * Every weekday morning, the equivalent of 25 busy motorway lanes of traffic tries to enter Central London. * It has been estimated that London looses between Ã ¯Ã ¿Ã ½2-4 million every week in terms of lost time caused by congestion. Ken Livingstone, Londons Mayor, hopes to cut traffic by 15%, leading to a 25% reduction in traffic delays. The net proceeds are expected to be around Ã ¯Ã ¿Ã ½120m a year, which will be used to improve public transport. Because of congestion in London the government has taken over/ intervened because it was a case of market failure. It failed because the roads/ resources werent being managed causing inefficiency and pollution. This congestion charge has been set up to erect that problem because London is the capital and a thriving city. These improvements may seem a bit steep e.g. Ã ¯Ã ¿Ã ½80 fine, but they have got to show they are serious so that the scheme is not taken for granted. This scheme will make certain people better off it wont work for everyone. People who NEED to come into London to work will appreciate the changes because it will mean they will get to work quicker and work longer hours. Roads are seen as public goods because you cant charge people for its use if they are there everyone benefits. This scheme should drastically reduce traffic in London because a social cost is being added to their private costs. If you add Ã ¯Ã ¿Ã ½5 to someones private cost they will think about their actions. One of the problems that will arise is that not everyone can pay the market price, so the system can be inequitable. In some cases inequity of this sort is unavoidable. The fact that people cannot all have everything they want is part of the basic economic problem of scarcity. There are benefits for those with particular needs such as the disabled and taxi drivers. These need benefits to live a normal life and keep the norm going. Because if taxis and mini-cabs stopped working people who had to travel to work, business meeting or wanted to get directly home would have to use some other means of transport. Also it will encourage them to keep working and disabled people to keep coming into London and not feel restricted. This scheme will also show what the commuters and stakeholders think of the efficiency of roads in Central London. Because if they are satisfied or think that they are getting their value for their money e.g. less traffic, good maintenance they will be willing to keep paying and perhaps more people will see that the scheme is efficient.