London congestion charge zone (urban toll) = the last solution for traffic-jams ? Which alternative ?
Since the 17 February 2003, a congestion charge zone was established in Central London, and extended into parts of west London on 19 February 2007. Each vehicle has to pay £8 for a day for travelling within the zone between 7am and 6pm (Monday-Friday). It aims to reduce congestion, pollution and raise investment funds for London’s transport system. There are no tollbooths or barrier to enter the zone. Cameras at entrances, exits and around the zone read your number plate. They check it against a database to work out whether you’ve paid already. For non-payment, you will get a fine, which can exceed £180. But is London congestion charge zone the last solution for traffic-jams ? Is there other alternative ? London congestion charge zone is a solution to avoid traffic-jams. It fulfills its aims by reducing the number of cars entering the zone, indeed it is 21% lower than pre-charge level, i.e 70000 fewer cars a day. There has been a six per cent increase in bus passengers during charging hours. Congestion charging will help people change their travel habits and extend real transport choice. People with a car will be able to leave it at home for many of their trips. It deters people from using their car and to use more public transport. It aims to reduce congestion in the center, which allows faster travel, more regular and less pollution. Furthermore the fee profits are reinvested in public transport. But the effects of the congestion charge have been controversial. Fewer cars entering the zone don’t mean less congestion. There is not enough parking to leave your car, if you want to avoid the toll. Then if you don’t use your car you will have to take the bus or the metro. But the metro in London is really expensive and buses, at the peak hours are too crowded. I believe that this toll penalizes the middle class people who work in the zone and live in the...
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