London Reaps Pricing Benefits

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From the newsletter of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign comes an inspiring summation of the effects of congestion pricing in London since the program's inception in 2003, gleaned from Transport for London's annual report:

  • Traffic levels in central London were about 20% lower in 2006 than in 2002, the year before pricing began.
  • Bicycle use in central London rose 43% in the same time period.
  • Since the implementation of the plan, congestion has been about 30% lower than it would be under a "without congestion pricing" scenario.
  • Traffic on major roads in neighborhoods directly outside of the pricing zone has decreased each year since the implementation of congestion pricing.
  • The central London economy has outperformed London's economy as a whole since the implementation of congestion pricing. While this cannot be attributed to congestion pricing, given the many other factors affecting the economy, there is no evidence to suggest that congestion pricing has hurt business in central London.

The TSTC also makes a good point about how well the folks over in the UK handled the public-relations aspect of traffic policy:

City officials, take note: Transport for London used a 14-month, three-stage multimedia campaign to explain the nuances of congestion pricing--how charges were paid, how exemptions could be applied for, and so on. Today, London still uses advertisements to raise awareness of the plan's benefits.

Photo: Laura Callan/Flickr