Air Quality & Emissions, Asides, Beyond the Bay, Bicycles, Congestion Pricing

London is on the Move

London is on the move. London, a city that is famous around the world for the bold steps it has taken to curb congestion and encourage use of alternative transportation, continues to prove its worth as a global model for mobility policy, as it strives for a goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by the year 2025. San Francisco is finally starting to investigate some of the good ideas that have been put into action in London, most notably congestion pricing, but also cameras mounted on buses to ticket drivers who make illegal use of bus-only lanes. But in the meantime, London moves full steam ahead with plans to invest $1 billion in a bicycle plan that would make 6,000 bicycles available at rental stations located throughout the central city, roughly every couple of blocks. This plan is a smaller version of the Vélib’, launched this past summer in Paris; other cities throughout Europe have adopted similar rental programs. But if that weren’t enough, London’s mayor Ken Livingstone has also announced that gas guzzlers entering central London will be faced with a new congestion fee, to the tune of £25 each time the vehicle enters the congestion zone; in comparison, the fee for average cars is £8. About 150,000 vehicles enter central London’s congestion zone on a daily basis; of those, about 20% would be subject to the increased fee. Livingstone estimates that with the fee, there will be a 30% decline in the number of these gas guzzlers driving around central London; as such, the fee is supported by over 2/3 of Londoners. The extra revenue collected from the increased congestion fee would be applied to help fund the new bicycle plan.



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