Removing the WEZ is the ‘daftest’ of the Mayor’s ‘daft’ transport policies

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 URGENT

Removing western extension of congestion charging zone is

 URGENT
2 AUGUST

         ‘daftest’ of Mayor’s ‘daft’ transport policies

2 AUGUST

The Mayor of London (Mayor) has launched the final consultation on his plans to remove the western extension of the congestion charge (WEZ) Note 1.  The final deadline for comments is 2 August 2010. Your views can be submitted by email to CChargeConsultation@tfl.gov.uk or online at:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/congestioncharging/6722.aspx

Key elements of the Mayor’s proposals, put forward by Transport for London (TfL), include:

  • Removing the WEZ formally from 3 January 2011
  • the daily charge in the Central Congestion Charging Zone (CCCZ) to £10 (£9 with ‘Auto Pay’)
  • Residents in the WEZ area losing their 90% discount for travelling in the remaining CCCZ
  • Replacing the Alternative Fuel Discount with a Greener Vehicle Discount which would provide a 100% discount to cars emitting 100g/km or less of CO2 and meet the Euro 5 standard

The Campaign for Clean Air in London (CCAL) strongly opposes the Mayor’s proposal to remove the WEZ and reckons it is the ‘daftest’ of the Mayor’s ‘daft’ transport policies. Key reasons include:

1.   Harmful emissions would rise by up to 8%:

Emissions of the most harmful air pollutants would increase by between 3% and 8% in the WEZ area (which compares with an expected 13% reduction only between 2008 and 2011 across all London in the Mayor’s draft Air Quality Strategy) Note 2;

2.   Congestion would increase by up to 21%:

Congestion would increase by 15% to 21% within the WEZ area.  The consultation document admits congestion would be worse than before the WEZ was introduced in part because local road capacity has reduced since 2007.  Vehicles at 5 mph are about twice as polluting as those travelling at 20 mph (e.g. when congestion is lighter)

3.   It would take years to regain WEZ benefits:

The adverse impacts of removing the WEZ would only be offset ‘over time’. TfL cites mitigating measures that may enter into force from 2012…;

4.    48,000 people would lose their 90% discount:

48,000 people in  the WEZ area are  currently registered for the residents’ discount and would lose their 90% discount to drive in the CCCZ; and

5.    £55 million net income per year:

Removing the  WEZ would reduce net  income for  London transport by £55 million. That must impact negatively on other transport projects.

Simon Birkett, Founder of CCAL, said: “Removing the WEZ is the ‘daftest’ of the Mayor’s ‘daft’ transport policies.  With huge air quality and congestion problems, London needs to be moving forwards not backwards.   The Campaign for Clean Air in London urges the silent majority to respond to the Mayor’s final consultation and oppose the removal of the WEZ.

Notes:

  1. For full consultation details see: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/congestioncharging/6722.aspx
  2. For impacts see table on page 34: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/appendices-to-the-report-to-the-mayor.pdf