Evaluating the London Congestion Charge

Essay by DESTROYUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, October 2006

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In 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 Introduced

The 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...