Implications for the United States
Edited by Harry W. Richardson and Chang-Hee Christine Bae
Chapter 11: Transferring London Congestion Charging to US Cities: How Might the Likelihood of Successful Transfer be Increased?
Shin Lee 1 INTRODUCTION The London Congestion Charging Scheme (LCCS) has largely been celebrated as a success. It has prompted numerous cities in and outside of Britain to consider implementing congestion charging. In what sense is it a success? The oﬃcial review on the scheme’s performance for the ﬁrst two years reported a 30 per cent reduction in congestion, a 15 per cent reduction in traﬃc circulating in the zone (60,000 fewer car movements), and a 60 per cent decrease in bus operation disruption caused by traﬃc delays, among other positive ﬁgures (TfL, 2005). However, some Londoners – for example, those who had to transfer from car to bus and some retailers – are less happy, as occasional newspaper articles suggest. About a year after its introduction, research at Imperial College London suggested that congestion charging has had a signiﬁcant eﬀect on the sales in a major retail establishment studied (Local Transport Today, 2004). Prud’homme and Bocarejo (2005) claimed that the scheme was an economic loss, if a political success. Peak-hour congestion in the charge zone, measured in terms of excess travel time per kilometre beyond what is expected during uncongested hours, was 1.8 minutes per km in 2005 – still down from the pre-charge equivalent of 2.3 minutes but slightly up from the immediate post-charge level of 1.6 minutes (TfL, 2006). This oﬀered the opponents of the scheme a ground for instant criticism, albeit seemingly short-lived. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that London’s ‘success’ has...
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