The scheme is the idea of the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. The running of the congestion charge will be done by Transport for London. Nearly all drivers will have to pay the congestion charge of ï¿½5 to enter Central London between 7am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday. (Once the charge is paid you are allowed to leave and return to the charging area as many times as you wish on that day.)
The main aim of the congestion charge is to reduce the amount of traffic on the roads in London and to persuade people to use more public transport. As a result of this shift from cars to public transport there would be less pollution in London. If there are more people using public transport such as the tube, the turnover will be much higher and therefore have enough money to improve their services, and in doing so will make the underground a much safer method of transport.
After considering the advantages of introducing these congestion charges it proves quite a respectable solution. However, ever solution has its disadvantages and the London congestion charge is no different. People will use the public transport against their needs and not through their own choice and the cost of transport within and around London, which can be related to the economy, for instance the cost of supply would increase for firms and therefore cause a shift in the supply curve to the left. The congestion charge will also affect investments. As running costs are higher firms will not have as much money to invest in businesses and therefore affecting investment, potentially the stock market. The national economy will also be affected because foreign firms would not create new businesses or invest in London.
A report commissioned by Transport for London has confirmed that the affect of congestion charging will have ‘no discernible affect’ on the price of houses on zone’s border. However, it has been claimed in a report of one of the member’s homes showed the value would plummet ï¿½20,000 when the scheme was introduced. The major concluded congestion charging would be a very small factor in the macro-economics that affect the house price fluctuations in the capital.
Ken Livingstone claimed in a conference in Bruxelles that the congestion charge will lead to a reduction in traffic levels of 10-15% and in congestion of 25-30% in central London
The congestion charge is said to affect the poor more than any other, the problem is the Londoners do not have much of an opportunity cost, because at the moment the tubes are not very reliable. At present it is more time consuming to take the tube given that some of the lines are out of action and this is causing problems and delays for many of the other lines. As well as affecting the people who live in and around London, firms are affected a great deal therefore having an impact on the economy as a whole.