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Evaluating The London Congestion Charge Essay

2059 words - 8 pages

IntroductionIn this piece of work, I aim to explore whether the introduction of the congestion charge was a good thing, in general, for London. There are both private costs and benefits and external costs and benefits of the congestion charge. An external cost/benefit is a cost/benefit that affects society in general, and a private cost/benefit is something that only affects an individual. Two examples of a private cost and a private benefit that are derived from the London congestion charge are:Cost - Monetary cost of paying the congestion charge.Benefit - Reduced traffic on the roads, therefore a quicker journey time.Two examples of an external cost and an external benefit derived from the London congestion are:Cost - Shops in central London may have fewer customers as a result of the congestion charge.Benefit - There will probably be less pollution over London as there will be less cars driving around.I will need to collect data from a number of sources, including the government congestion charge website, so I can see the actual figures. I will also search websites for people's views on the congestion charge.Why was it IntroducedThe congestion charge was introduced as a way of trying to reduce the amount of congestion in central London. Consumer surveys suggest that Londoners think that pollution is one of the main problems with the inner city. The other main problem it is intended to deal with is excess pollution.The congestion charge, in theory, by cutting down the number of driver that enter the zone, cuts down on congestion, and on pollution. In addition, as the congestion charge collects money, this can be used to improve public transport, providing people with a viable alternative to travelling by car.The charge came into force in London on February 17th 2003. Motorists entering the charging zone between the hours of 7am and 6.30 pm have to pay a fee of $5 per day. The charge is exempt to certain vehicles and owners who must register in advance to claim their exemption. The congestion-charging zone has a network of 230 cameras situated on and within the zone limits. Details of vehicles passing into the zone are compared to database records of those who have paid the charge. Those that do not pay the charge are liable to a fine of $80. The fine is halved for prompt payment but rises to $120 if ignored, with the potential for the offender to be taken to court in extreme cases.The costs of traffic in LondonThere are many costs of traffic in London, both social and personal. These are:* Pollution - the number of cars emitting pollutants into the atmosphere.* Waste - the petrol being used when cars are at a standstill and engines are being used inefficiently.* Time lost for those who are working and arrive late to work, meetings, making deliveries and so on.* The cost for freight transporters in having to adjust times for deliveries and collection etc. to cope with the congestion - including the cost of the wages of the drivers, fuel use,...

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