March 30, 2019 7:00 am
By Jane Gerster
National Online Journalist — Features Global News
I lived in London, UK for over 6 years including before and after the congestion charge implemented.
Before it was added there was times of bad congestion but it was intermittent and more often related to a vehicle breakdown or accident.
The well experienced black cab drivers I spoke to claimed leading up to the charge the City manipulated the intersection light times to increase congestion and then corrected this after the charge to amplify what would have been minimal improvement. They claimed similar was done when they increased the fee and expanded the congestion zone.
There was still no charge for motorcycles and scooters plus free parking for them in designated areas if you got there early enough to get a spot.
I would cycle more often than not when commuting for work downtown. There was very good pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and better traffic engineering in general than is most common in at least Winnipeg. Other Cities in Canada do a decent job including Calgary and many others.
There was also great public transit options for the most part and we managed dine without a vehicle for a few years and just rented one the rare occasion we really needed on. They would deliver it right to your door. Later when we were going out of town more and getting more groceries as the kids got older we bought a vehicle but still used transit when going down town during the weekday as it was faster and no congestion or parking charges.