So there wasn’t a major system meltdown, there wasn’t gridlock, there wasn’t even congestion and we all sat surprised watching the congestion charge work: even the Mayor didn’t seem to expect the damn thing to work, but contrary to all the doubts it performed rather well, this is twice in one week that I’ve been impressed by something ken Livingston has done. The first was his support for the anti-war march, and the second seems to be (although the jury is still out) his conviction that congestion charging would work.
In many ways I think it’s a good idea, I still have my doubts, and it’s definitely not the way I would have gone about it, but if it works then I suppose you have to give him credit. I don’t own a car, I have no need for one: and I don’t see me getting one any time in the near future on the principle that I simply wouldn’t have any use for it, I get my shopping delivered online, I live seconds away from Notting Hill Gate, I’ve got Kensington High Street within spitting distance, and If I’m really pushed I could walk to Marble Arch in 15 minutes. I’ve got the tube seconds away from the house, and I’ve got 4 major bus routes that pass by the house… So I really don’t need or want a car; there’s a part of me that thinks I should get some tax breaks for not owning a car and doing my bit for the environment, let’s face it: people get tax breaks for less worthy reasons than that don’t they?
The big question will be if it works – if in a years time traffic is back to how it was then we should be questioning whether or not to scrap it and look for better solutions.