Magazine article Geographical

Transport Congestion-The UK's Headache

Magazine article Geographical

Transport Congestion-The UK's Headache

Article excerpt

Transport congestion--the UK's headache

Since congestion charging began in central London it has met with mixed emotions and speculation over its effectiveness. Transport for London's recent report on the scheme's first three months summarises the early results, but data on its social, economic and environmental effects won't be available until spring next year.

Initial figures suggest that traffic inside the charging zone has dropped by 16 per cent (exceeding expectations) and that public transport is coping as the majority of drivers turn to it as their alternative mode of transport.

While London's initiative can be seen as a move in the right direction, Whitehall-funded advisory body the Commission for Integrated Transport has just released a damning assessment of the UK situation, saying the government is likely to miss the five major targets set out in its ten-year transport plan--one of which is cutting congestion, in addition, a top government transport advisor has warned that attempts to reduce congestion are doomed because motoring costs will fall as public-transport fares rise. While welcomed by regional development agencies, the government's 7 billion [pounds sterling] scheme to tackle congestion has also been criticised by opponents of motorway expansion. …

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