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back to article Wider London c-charge mooted as road pricing bounces back

London Mayor Ken Livingstone is secretly planning to roll congestion charging out across London, claims the Times , citing a source "close to Mr Livingstone." Livingstone's manifesto for the upcoming mayoral election makes no mention of such a plan, but it does refer to a "new, hassle-free system for paying the congestion charge …

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Linux

Hail Ken

Ken is nothing more than the 21 Centuries version of Napoleon.

He would like all people to stop driving into London and use public transport but he puts the price up so high on public transport that it is still cheaper to drive.

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Flame

RP and Labour.

Quite simply, a vote for Labour at ANY level is a vote for RP. If you don't want RP then don't vote for a Labour politician or councillor.

If you do then don't whine when they extend the London C-Charge / toll the motorways / extend c-charging to other towns & cities....

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Security

How secure are these things? How quickly before there is a nice new trade in cloned tags?

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Anonymous Coward

@Jamie

You didn't think for one minute that a Politician was interested in anything OTHER than money did you?

Here's a question, why are London cabs still running on diesel? Top speed in London is what 15mph, if you are lucky? So why not change ALL the taxis to electric? Oh, silly me, I forgot, THEY aren't interested in reducing pollution or congestion THEY want your cash and by George THEY are gonna get it any way THEY can.

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Black Helicopters

Shirley they need to get a tag in my car first

As I don't live in London yet drive to inside the M25 to visit family and watch football they will have to shoot a tag via a dart gun or something to get to me.

I will use London's public transport system at weekends instead of my car when Ken (and Network Rail) actually provides a public transport system that does not involve Train - Replacement Bus - Train - Tube - Repalcement Bus - Tube.

I want to get from A-B as quickly as possible not via 15 different changes of transport over a 3 hours instead of 20 minutes.

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C-Charge

I have heard that there is currently talks about getting a C-Charge type zone put in place in Reading and Slough.

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Logic

So let's take this down the road a few steps.

There are too many people driving on my bit of road. (It takes forever to get along my bit of road and the pigeons that live beside it are looking peaked and have developed a nasty cough.) So I'm going to charge you to drive down my bit of road.

Which will persuade a lot of you uncaring, polluting so-and-so's to change your ways and drive down his road over there. His road clogs up, his pigeons turn up their toes so he starts charging you as much or more than I do.

Pretty soon, her down the road from him is in the road charging business too - and on and on and on - until, what do you know? We're right back where we've started and the roads are all clogged. Everything's the same except...............oh wait! Only the rich can afford to drive.

Ta-dah! !955 all over again!

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Stop

Vote Boris if you don't hate private transport

Despite coming across as hating motorcycles (because of being willing to ignore significant safety benefits in favour of burying a report that finds in favour of letting them into bus lanes), extending the congestion charge would benefit them, since motorbikes don't have to pay the C-Charge.

Having said that, the demonstrated benefits of allowing motorbikes into bus lanes (nearly halving the accidents involving bikes along the trial routes) far, far exceeds any benefits from making endless more cars pay a congestion charge and hoping a few turn to smaller alternatives. So Boris it is, then.

I'm all for reducing use of private transport and congestion, but it's got to support people working from home, support flexible working hours, invest in substantial public transport capacity increase, and not just demonise and penalise those who don't find public transport a viable alternative. Whether I have to pay the charge myself or not (I don't since I'm on a motorbike), the current hikes on larger vehicles unfairly penalises families and so on who may need a larger vehicle to transport their children, and extending the charge would only make that situation worse.

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Go

Buses are for poor people..

..and poor and dumb people are Labour core voters. So if you can afford a car you can damn well pay you capitalist running dogs!

Go green (geddit?)

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Alert

@Darren B

They'll get you with the ANPR cameras mate!

(Sometimes even if you've never been near the CC zone, or owned the vehicle which has been recorded in rare cases)

The tag would simply be a volutary thing you would sign up for - because lets be honest, if the charge is going to be around for the long term and you often need to drive in the zone then paying the charge every single time you do is a complete pain in the ass.

What I want to know is, whats to stop overcharging of tag holders ... if the system bills you for driving in the zone on some date/time - how do you prove otherwise if you really, honestly, haven't.

Technology such as this is far from perfect, and there have been cases where Capita have sent bailiffs around to peoples houses who have been incorrectly sent a penalty change for an infraction they didn't commit, and who have provided proof to Capita - because Capita wouldn't accept that the proof was sufficient.

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Unhappy

@ David - Don't vote for Boris

Putting motorbikes into bus lanes increases the risk to cyclists who are currently able to use them in order to get away from the main stream of traffic. Cyclists sharing this space with faster motorcyclists is neither sensible nor safe.

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Ash

Motorcycles ftw!

As a biker, frankly I couldn't give a damn! :D

If he brings congestion charges in for vehicles WHICH DON'T CAUSE CONGESTION, though, so help him i'll collect the wing mirrors from his Jag / Merc / Bentley every time I see it.

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Silver badge

@ Jamie

'I have heard that there is currently talks about getting a C-Charge type zone put in place in Reading and Slough.'

Wouldn't it make more sense to charge people for avoiding Reading and Slough?

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Bronze badge

It won't just be the 2.0+ litre cars which will pay more

Don't forget KL has already said he'll raise the regular congestion charge. in fact he told me this on TV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH9fmqVwinI

Simon

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Coat

What's the problem?

How about actually talking to other people and try car sharing?

Oh sorry, I forgot - too wrapped in one's own private universe, too sold on some advert showing empty city streets and traffic-free wide country roads.

Traffic is caused by vehicles - when there's a lot of traffic then the driving is either slow or hazardous. Charge the buggers - especially the big cars that block the roads for two wheeled machines.

There doesn't seem to have been as much fuss with paying to use a private motorway - hmm, selfish or just solipsism.

Mines the high-viz jacket

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Pirate

@Neill - motorcycles and cyclists..

Neill - the report showed no adverse effect on cyclist safety, yet proved beyond a doubt that many, many peoples lives would be saved.

Not that would satisfy the cyclist nazis like yourself of course, you'd rather we all die or get maimed squeezing through tiny gaps while the other traffic tries to avoid you lot weaving about at random (without looking, or indicating) by knocking us off.

Self interest beyond belief, and you wonder why so many people hate your lot (I dont in the main, except when idiots like yourself pipe up)

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Boris for Mayor

Ken Livingston's regime is just the worst example of petty jealously, cronyism and personal prejudice in power I've ever had the misfortune to witness. This would be the final straw after all the previous final straws I've seen him pull and yet he's still there.

I live in Central London though, thankfully, just outside the Congestion Charge Zone. What really boils my piss is the fact that I pay through the nose to live in CL what with council tax, car tax, higher car insurance premiums, etc., etc. and yet the feckers still want to charge me for driving around my OWN neighbourhood! Fair enough, charge the characters who live out of he City and drive in but leave us poor buggers living here alone.

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Unhappy

Spreading like a nasty rash

Back when Panini's stopped being football stickers and started being overpriced toasties, it was joked that the outer boundary of London was marked by the point at which you could no longer buy a Panini. A few weeks ago I holidayed in the Scottish Highlands and found Panini's on sale at a cafe.

Presumably, the same thing will happen with this charging zone. It will gradually spread out until the whole of the nation is engulfed and it will be like we are all living in Slough.

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Coat

tax = theft & car sharing is a joke

Car sharing - really - find 4 people who live in the same area have the same destination EVERY day and travel at the same time EVERY day.

I never know where or when I will need to be far enough ahead to use public transport, even if it went anywhere near my home or destination.

Then there is the little issue of public transport not starting early enough to get me anywhere in time to start work, or home again at the ridiculous hour at which I may finish.

Life is too unpredictable & there are clearly too many stupid thoughtless bath stewards who cannot conceive that that most of the people in the UK do not have a viable alternative to their cars & bikes.

Oh yeah and why the hell are we ruled by the bloody Scots ?

</coat - mine's the one with the OZ residency application in the pocket>

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Stop

@ AC

"What really boils my piss is the fact that I pay through the nose to live in CL what with council tax, car tax, higher car insurance premiums, etc., etc. and yet the feckers still want to charge me for driving around my OWN neighbourhood!"

Then piss off to Essex.

You live in central London and you DRIVE around?

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Coat

Spreading like a nasty rash

[/pedant]Panini is plural. You buy one Panino. [/end pedant]

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Anonymous Coward

Red Ken

I think everyone must have had enough of Ken by now, if he gets in again then its your own fault there are other people on the ticket you know.

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Stop

Hello hello! SPEED TICKETS!

Does this not sound like the GPS speeding thing what over 1 million people complained about on the Gov site and seems to still been pushed stealth via Congestion charge. Dont be surprised when you get a speeding ticket when it measures you from POINT A to POINT B even when you over took a slow car!!!

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Unhappy

@ Elmer Phud

How about actually talking to other people and realising that car sharing is impractical for a great many people? No, too wrapped own in your own private universe, sold on the idea that people must be sitting in traffic every day for fun.

I drive to work because public transport is not a realistic proposition whatsoever for my journey. There is no-one to car share with- I'm even registered on the car-sharing sites; no responses.

I am fully aware that a great many people rely heavily on all forms of transport- buses, trains, cycles (motor and pedal), cars, and their own 2 feet. Why do so many other people assume that all motorists are just selfish lazy bastards?

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Thumb Up

Nice one Ken

No-one needs to drive in central London. Get over yourselves and get on the bus.

I welcome the CC, and hope to see it applied nationwide asap.

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Linux

@ Elmer Phud

"How about actually talking to other people and try car sharing?

Oh sorry, I forgot - too wrapped in one's own private universe, too sold on some advert showing empty city streets and traffic-free wide country roads."

Why don't you try reading some of the statistics that state the amount of illegal cars on the road?

The reason Kenny would like to raise the charge is that he can rake in more money from people who have no other choice. My wife has to have a car as she is a social worker, she cannot share as she has to visit clients and other people are not allowed to know who she is visiting due to privacy laws.

Instead Kenny could use the money raked in to fund more police on the roads to take illegal drivers off, but he would rather go on lavish trips to other countries to forward his own agenda and screw the honest public.

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Alien

Congestion problems solved

The problem with congestion has been caused by people having to travel long distances to work and you can't move each time you get a new job because you can't guarantee that jobs will last long enough for you to unpack the kettle.

In th'old days, everyone worked at the factory at the end of the street, so the only congestion was at the factory gate with them new-fangled bycycle things.

I live in Stoke and in the past 12 years have worked in Telford, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton(3 times), Manchester, Birmingham (twice), Stafford, Nottingham and now Stockport.

And my girlfriend works too (how else do we afford the staggering huge house prices/rent/cost of living) so unless when one of us gets a new job the other leaves to follow, at least one of us is forced to travel

I couldn't have moved each time I got a new job it's impractical and if we have kids (no plans yet - if ever) then you're tied to a school too.

If they want to stop congestion they need to revert to industrial revolution style industry grouping. Pottery in Stoke, steel in Sheffield, etc. then all the techies can live in one town and flit from job to job without having to move house or travel to the other end of the country.

I *am* car sharing at the moment as I'm working at a mates place, so that's excellent though this is the first time I've had the joy of only having to drive to work part of the week

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Stop

@Nice one Ken

Except Ken will extend this to the whole of London if he gets in again. And the public transport system is working sooo well isn't it? Been on a bus on Oxford Street lately?

The bus network doesn't work because they chose the wrong type of buses, the tube network doesn't work because it was designed with a much smaller population in mind, and is ancient anyway. The emissions charge won't work because it won't reduce emissions and will actually increase congestion thanks to all the extra vehicles now allowed in for free (which all the well off in the congestion charge zone will buy for weekday use, thereby increasing pressure on parking as well). But it doesn't matter that none of this works; the figures will be manipulated to show what a "success" it is, and the government will roll it out all over the country.

New Labour use Ken Livingstone to try out their little experiments on the population of London, with some nice political 'distance' between him and them if it goes really titsup; and some nice revenue and social control upsides for them if it just goes titsup enough for them to fudge the figures. And like sheep we continue to let them get away with it.

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Foreign cars...

I think I'll be popping over to France, buying an old heap of a car (but with a V8 to piss off Ken, maybe a Rangey or a Jag...) and keeping the frog plates.

Try getting me then with your ANPR! There do seem to be a lot of Poles, Belgians, French, and Dutch folks around London these days. Go Maltese or Irish and you don't even need a left-hooker...

And if they impound the car, so what? I'll be on the next ferry to buy another MOT-failing heap to replace it.

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DR

car sharing

I car share... it's easy.

I don't work in a big company, but I do happen to work some 15 miles outside of work.

in a town between two bigger cities.

it's not difficult to car share, I simply said to one guy, rather than drive, do you want me to pick you up in the mornings.

now I drive ten minutes out of my way, to pick up a guy and I pay half the fuel that I used to pay.

I don't care about the environment, i care about how much I pay in fuel. and right now a ten minute morning inconvenience has halved my fuel bill...

it's not hard. how many of you saying they can't car share have looked outside their own street to see if anyone else comes from the same area? if i could share with another person I would.

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@ Glyn

Very well said.

ATM I live just outside Manchester but have worked in places such as Runcorn & Glossop recently. No chance of getting to either of them for 0800H every morning on public transport!

The sooner the greenies stop telling ordinary folk to either move house or change jobs for the sake of THEIR children the better. Do they honestly think I don't want a well paying job that is a 5 minute walk from my house, and that I actually enjoy spending 90-120 mintues a day travelling to & from work?

I would love a local job - problem is there isn't any! And who can we blame for that?

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Stop

Re Ash: Motorcycles dont cause congestion

Since when does a motorcycle not cause congestion? Once you have gone screaming past the queue of cars, they will all have to wait that bit longer as there is now one more vehicle in front of them clogging up the next junction.

Also, when driving in the opposite direction to the queue, the cars have to slow down as some idiot on a motorbike drives up towards them on the wrong side of the road.

And that's before I even mention the tw*ts who drive up the left side of stationary vehicles (like lorries and buses) making it a pig for anyone coming the other way trying to turn right into a junction (as one demonstrated by narrowly missing my ar*e the other day as he was going full tilt).

And theres the ones on motorways. Slow moving traffic. About to change lanes. Mirror, signal, start to manuver when WOOOOOSH goes a bike from nowhere.

Motorcycles can be a pest.

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Silver badge

The woman who stopped traffic

Did anyone see this program?

She came up with an idea of blocking off a road to try and convince people to use public transport/walk. She was told that it would have a detrimental effect (as most of us know already) as everyone would become closed to anything she said from that point onwards.

So, fully taking the comment on board, she tried to get a group of students to constantly hit the crossing buttons in the town and slow the cars down.

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jon
Thumb Up

Go Ken!

There's a lot I don't like about Ken, but his political courage in leading the world in this area is to be congratulated and encouraged at all costs.

Cars are bad, m'kay!

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Flame

@Jason

@Jason - It is twits like you that deserve to get knocked off your bikes: you have no right to be weaving in and out of traffic to skip a valid queue - I always find it funny how two wheels take up an entire lane of traffic when they are stationary, but expect to be able to get through any traffic that is going slower than them.

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Happy

WE DONT WANT

Another non congestion/polution tax

Another way to track people

Another way to make peoples lives crap

Another way to milk the poor

Another way trafic camera system

Another speeding ticketing system

Another system our Tax money is used against us

And MOSTLY ... WE DONT WANT YOU KEN!!!!!

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@Wize

"Once you have gone screaming past the queue of cars, they will all have to wait that bit longer as there is now one more vehicle in front of them clogging up the next junction."

You'll find bikes fit into gaps better than cars, ergo less space than if we were sat there in a tintop. We're helping you really :)

"Also, when driving in the opposite direction to the queue, the cars have to slow down as some idiot on a motorbike drives up towards them on the wrong side of the road."

That's pretty rare IME - most bikers don't want to die either and since most drivers on the commute are asleep they tend to keep out of their way (or be ready to avoid you)

"And that's before I even mention the tw*ts who drive up the left side of stationary vehicles (like lorries and buses) making it a pig for anyone coming the other way trying to turn right into a junction"

If you're turning right across traffic, you need to actually open your eyes rather than just assuming nowt's coming. Sounds like your failing.

"And theres the ones on motorways. Slow moving traffic. About to change lanes. Mirror, signal, start to manuver when WOOOOOSH goes a bike from nowhere."

Hate to point it out, but being solid physical objects they don't come from nowhere. Open your damn eyes.

"Motorcycles can be a pest."

Drivers who spend their entire life asleep are even bigger pests.

As always, it basically comes down to jealousy that we can get where we're going while you're trapped. Instead of sitting there fuming, do what I did - join in.

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@Mike Richards / Reading CC

As someone who lives in the centre of Reading, I'd love to see a better road system, CC is currently not the way. Currently we have half of an inner/outer distribution ring setup, they built the inner ring, but didn't bother with the outer ring, so ALL traffic that needs to go across Reading has to go via the inner ring, basically a loop round the very centre of town. There is now no option to make an outer ring, because houses are in the way. Oxford council have been squabbling with Reading council for the best part of ten year (and then some) about the requirement for a 3rd Thames bridge, which will take the load out of Reading town centre, but Oxford hate cars and dispite the improved links between Henley and London/M4 the won't do it.

Here is the deal, currently if you want to get from the M4 to the M40 (Oxford way) you have to go to the M25, round then out or through the centre of Reading, it's a nightmare that only a 3rd bridge can solve. This means that it would be totally unfair to have a CC, as there would be no realistic way of avoiding it if you live near Reading and need to say, go to oxford.

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Flame

To the other Anonymous Coward

Yes, I live in London and drive around. Occasionally. Why the hell should'nt I have a car? I have a car because:

- I've paid a lot of money for parking space and didn't like to see it empty

- sometimes I want to go shopping and bring back more than I can comfortably carry on public transport

- sometimes I want to leave London and need a car to do it

- sometimes I find that it's just convenient to jump in the car and go somewhere quickly rather than spend ages walking to and from

What I don't do is drive my car before around 7pm at night which is when it becomes possible to park on single yellow lines and there's no congestion charge. I have never paid Red Ken's congestion charge and I never will. I'd rather walk, which I do a lot, or take a bus, tube or taxi to avoid it as I think it's a grossly unfair system.

As for moving to Essex, I had a rather unfortunate need to work there once in Dartford and I try to avoid the place at all costs. If the UK ever needs an enema that's where they'd stick it.

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Black Helicopters

Car ownership

And don't forget that Tony once said in the House of Obfuscation...sorry...House of Commons that they didn't want to stop people owning cars, just driving them.

I can't believe most people have forgotten he said that, there was some comment on it at the time.

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