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    Congestion charges: your views
    Traffic jam.
    Will the congestion charge get the roads moving?
    The congestion charge becomes a reality on 17 February 17 2003. It will apply between 7am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday, excluding Public Holidays. Is it a good thing or is the move off the tracks?
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    Congestion charge
    Questions Answered
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    Have Your Say

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    your comments

    Henzi.Guderian, H.K Monday, 10-Mar-2003 15:43:53 GMT
    i think the new policy is reasonable,because only this policy can solve current problem.Besides, adding tax can solve finanical problem and reduce the deficit of government so that i agree with the new policy which add a charge on vehicles entering the central regoin of London.

    John, Letchworth Saturday, 01-Mar-2003 19:51:05 GMT
    It seems the train I get in the morning train is more crowed, before Ken's Tax came in, before I could get a seat 3 mornings in 5, now the train arrives with commuters already standing ( from at least Royston) every day. The money raised will fund intra-London buses while its the trains from Hertfordshire which are even more packed.

    Cheryl Dover, Luton Thursday, 27-Feb-2003 09:05:05 GMT
    I think it is a good idea as it will encourage people to use public transport more as having to much cars on the road causes buses to run late. And hopefully it will cut down a bit on polutition to our enviroment. But we alsop need to think how much car driverd depend on their cars to get them to work so that they can make a living, as buses don't run everywhere.

    Radical, Bedford Thursday 20
    February, 2003
    I agree with you completely Phil, despite being very pro-car. I'd advance Belgium and Holland as examples: cycle lanes on most routes but entirely separate from the road carriageway. I'd use my bike if we had those! But don't let's have any more of those stupid cycle lanes painted on the roads - they reduce space available to cars and aren't safe enough to encourage cyclists. Question is, who will be brave enough to take 10 feet off properties to establish safe cycle lanes? Not our illustrious leaders I think. By the way, what happened to all those railway lines which were closed? They'd make perfect cycle lanes.

    Phil, Stevenage Wednesday 19
    February, 2003
    The congestion charge is mentioned in relation to environment and public transport. The cynical response is that it is just revenue raising. I cycle 13 miles into work each day. There are no suitable bike tracks. The laughable narrow lanes at the side of the road are suicide. When is the goverment going to seriously look at more cyclepaths / lanes for getting to work on. I recently commenced cycling 13 miles (via country lanes) into work each day and a few tracks would not go amiss. I'm sure plenty of people would cycle (and keep their cars off the roads) if suitable and safe lanes existed.

    Tony, Chesham Wednesday 19
    February, 2003
    I travel into London each day by coach. Chiefly bechause the rail service from Chesham is poor, over-priced and over-crowded. I have noticed no change in journey time to and from work, because the congestion charge only covers a small area of central London. I find it amazing that such well-known bottle necks such as Kings Cross, Park Lane, Victoria, and Hyde Park Corner are outside the zone (just). Is it possible that these are routes Ken uses so he wants to avoid having to pay it himself? What is he going to do about other problem areas, such as the North Circular or Swiss Cottage.

    Darren, Buntingford Wednesday 19
    February, 2003
    Stealth Tax! I give a lift to two people, I work 200yards inside the zone, I pay Road Tax, Tax on my Company car, Tax on my fuel, Tax on all the parts on my car and Now 5 to bring some money to London. I say charge only the cabbies and give them something to moan about!

    radical, bedford Tuesady 18
    February, 2003
    The trains to London are foul, unreliable and overcrowded and the Tube is worse. Nevertheless, at least London has some semblance of a public transport system. Can you imagine what it will be like if other smaller towns, which really have insignificant problems with congestion, but similar politically correct, money grubbing attitudes, follow suite in order to rip off the helpless motorist once again? If you drive around the country, perhaps through 3 or 4 towns, you will have an evening's work paying your bills. One mistake, one sign you didn't see, one jammed phoneline, 80 please. London is one thing, the rest of the country musn't be allowed to follow. Ask your councillor if he is pro-car. If not, vote for someone (anyone) else. Better still, let's put up our own reactionary, pro-freedom candidates.

    sami, london Tuesday 18 February, 2003
    I appreciate this move...this is an era of software I appreciate the software and wish for the success of this experiment

    Veejay, Harpenden Monday 17 February, 2003
    Brave move Ken - This will encourage employers to move out of London and spread the work around. It will improve security in the square mile, it will catch car tax dodgers, it will track stolen cars, face recognition will help catch criminals, the money raised will help improve transport - all excellent - well done.

    john, mk Monday 17
    February, 2003
    Did anyone see the excellent Panarama programme on Transport last night? and what we all can look forward to in the future.It said it ALL.Politician,s in Government & out, are compulsive Liar,s .They are in a "make believe world"in which they think that they have the answers to everything, even when they have not a clue.Sad that most voters are gullable and are not Aware, that other European Countries do NOT treat their Citizens as fools to be Milked dry.Do you think mr(I will solve all transport problems) prescott, used the Park & Ride on his recent Milton Keynes Visit? , or did he pay the rip off parking charge for the Jaguar? After all-it was his parties council, that mislaid 2-7 Million pounds from MK budget.Roz of Bedford, there is an answer, Vote with your feet at the next election.How many motorist.s will take part in a million strong protest march in London, Birm! ingham, Manchester?, and thats what the politicians count on.If the Kengestion charge is a success, that will encourage the Motorway tolls, then the A Road,s.When do the Voters , for which the car is Life Or death, Wake up ?.

    Ben, Milton Keynes Monday 17
    February, 2003
    I think in principle it is a good idea. I think we need some new thinking to get us to stop using our cars - I am the first to admit that just for the convenience I use my car to get to the train station which is only a 10 minute walk. Personally, there is never a problem for me getting about in London and I think people should take advatnage of the system that is in place. Of course there will be a few hiccups when the charge starts and hopefully these will be ironed out as time goes on - however I do think that certain workers should be excempt such as emergency services. Unfortunately we can not have our cake and eat it - we want faster roads but at the same time everyone wants to use a car - common sense this is can not happen. If less money was spent on expanding and building roads - more money could be spent on improving public transport - particularly if the government see that it is worth investing in. The reason they cut back on such spending is because very little use it. Its a downward spiral however because it is so depleted no one wants to use it. One thing I would say though - what a surprise that Mr Duncan-Smith is protesting with the public! It seems he can never make his own opinion and things we will back him just because he tells us what we want to hear!

    Richard, Central London Monday 17 February, 2003
    Excellent. Monday 17th Feb 12.10pm. We can now get around London on buses a lot quicker. These cars that have one person in and are taking up much space have been reduced significantly. Keep up the good work.

    Dave Coles, Abingdon Sunday 16 February, 2003
    We all must fight this together, let this be the start of the motorist making a stand against this goverment unfair fight against the motorist. When thhe public transport ot this country is working then is the time for these kind of ideas. Has arrangements been made to increase public transport tomorrow, I dont think so, if so I have heard nothing of it, yours disgusted, Dave. p.s. The new Council taxs are due soon, that will be fun, not!

    Kris, London Saturday 15 February, 2003
    Ludicrous. No dispensation for key workers which means Doctors, Nurses, Firefighters, Paramedics and Police Officers who work shifts and can't avoid driving to work will be penalised at the rate of 5 per day for the "privilege" of working to keep Londoner's safe and healthy. Some of us regularly finish work at 2am. I tried "bussing" it home at that time of the morning last time my car was in for its service. 3 hours later I gave up and got a taxi. Sure, anyone who works normal (i.e. 9-5) hours will be able to use Public Transport but what of those who have no choice but to drive?

    eric, London Friday 14 February, 2003
    It really dosn't matter what people think about the Kengestion charge. Ken is one of those people that has to have order in his life and insists that others follow his idea of personal freedom to the cost to their own. London is a working town always has been, that is how it has managed to be an important capital. But then i wouldn't expect someone whose only aspiration in life seems to be to meddle in others.

    roz mercer, Bedford Friday 14 February, 2003
    It seems to me that there is a conspiracy to hammer the Britsh driver in any way possible because he is such an easy target. The worst thing about the congestion charge is that it is a tax on the poor - yet another one that can be ill afforded. Come April, Council Tax will rocket, the NI increase will cut back disposable income and many people are not having pay rises to meet these increases. Britain is not a happy place to live when it's so unfair and the tax system penalises the worst off. Our transport system is expensive and unreliable so workers have to use their cars and through petrol and Road Tax are already paying enough Is there nobody left in power who with any integrity whatsoever who is brave enough to speak up for the less well off? If I could I would leave the UK tomorrow because it has become a horrible place in which to live.

    Matt, Hertfordshire Friday 14 February, 2003
    It seems to be a good idea, this may give car manufactures the chance to introduce smaller/space saving energy efficiant cars that will cut down on polution. also to combat this they could improve the public transport and make it cheaper.

    Stuart, Bedford Friday 14 February, 2003
    The get "cars off the road" brigade is missing the point entirely as to why people use their cars in the first place and the introduction of congestion charging (CC's), CPZ's as in Bedford and hugely expensive parking schemes, such as in Milton Keynes, will never solve the problem. There are a number of principal problems that need to be solved first, some of which are: - 1. The current infrastructure is already at breaking point and cannot absorb any more people using it, Thameslink trains leaving London in the evening already average 100 to 150 standing passengers per carriage. 2. The current infrastructure cannot absorb any additional trains or busses because capacity doesn't allow it, hence the removal of some services in some areas, e.g. track capacity is full. 3. Deregulation of the busses means they only run on financially viable routes. There are no busses from certain parts of Bedford before 07:30 and after 21:00 so don't start work early or late! Also there are very few busses connecting the town directly to the rail station. 4. Increasing housing, as the government has just done, without changing the infrastructure first only means that the current infrastructure will creak even more. 5. Spening 80million on a canal link between Bedford and Milton Keynes is a total waste of money, when only a few people will use it, and the money could be spent on improving the road and rail infrastructure in the area. Making both the A421 and A422 road dual carriageway and improving the rail link to allow greater capacity. 6. Out of town shopping has been encouraged but by and large is not served by busses. Even if they are could you imagine explaing to a bus driver that you want to take large items home on the bus when in some areas taking push chairs for children on board is queried. There are lots more issues fundamental to infrastructure but the above will suffice. Needless to say that road fund licences, MOT fees, insurance tax, fuel duty, CPZ fees, etc. do not seem to be enough. The question is "how do we raise more tax to fund budget shortfalls, which is what MK has done with its parking scheme, with no changes to the overall infrastructure". You may like to know that I have written to Patrick Hall the MP for Bedford several times but he doesn't seem to think the questions are worthy of a response.

    Tobi, Marlow Friday 14 February, 2003
    1. Computer glitches are bound to create problems of charging people who never entered the zone at all. Image recognition software, no matter how sophisticated it is, is notorious for misreading image data. People who never ventured near the zone may get a penalty notice. I would definitely be enraged for receiving a charge without entering the zone. My boss recons the daily amount of data would run to tens of Gigabytes! I guess there is always enough storage space. 2. This country always has a legacy of charging for everything possible. I think this is just one addition to the many taxes, bills and contributions we already pay, even as non-motorists ... and there will be yet more to come. Perhaps until the take-home rate of an average worker ends up around 20-30%. So then, what's the use working? It's understandable we have to pay for this, pay for that, but shouldn't they cap it somewhere? Somewhere? 3. The initial days may be wrought with chaos of drivers trying to avoid the congestion zone. Alternative routes would be clogged up, and public transport would be left to cope with the remains of us trying to get to work. By the way, what's the point having a car and not being able to use it? Might as well do with out it! 4. Business and employment may well move out of London on the long-term, as the cost is ever rising. For one, when I get my car, I WON'T think of working in Central London (I might reconsider if the prospective employer opts to pay the charge for me, though that would be heavy on them! A whopping 1200 pa! 100 pm! 25 pw!).

    Maureen, Luton Thursday, 13 February, 2003
    I have a feeling that within a few months their will be a back down and congestion charges will be put on hold - too much is going on at the moment!

    Paul, Milton Keynes Wednesday 12
    February, 2003
    Why do politicians seem to believe that by introducing charges to their electorates that a problem is being "better managed"? In Milton Keynes the council introduced controversial parking charges to "better manage" a perceived problem. It has not made a blind bit of difference to parking in MK. Why doesn't Livingstone admit - 1. It's a revenue earning activity 2. That money raised will not end up being spent on anything in the least related..... 3. That if nobody paid the charges on the day the system could not cope with all the admin involved tracking offenders down

    David, Berkhamsted Wednesday 12
    February, 2003
    I feel sorry for all the residents on the outskirts like Queens Park. Commuters are just going to drop their cars wherever possible and course even greater congestion in these areas.Ken, if you had got the transport system in place it may have worked but who ever heard of a bridge or tunnel toll charge before they were built?

    Mick, Luton Wednesday 12
    February, 2003
    Just watch, next Monday the public transport system will be in melt down with people trying it to avoid the charge. On Tuesday so many people will go back in their cars that London will be gridlocked! If you get the transport system working safely effeciently and cheaply first then people would consider getting out of their cars and you would not need a charge

    Alan, Dunstable Tuesday 11 February, 2003
    It would have made sense if the money went into public transport first, and then was partially recouped through a congestion charge. This way though, it is stupid, trying to force drivers onto the dirty and overcrowded tube and bus services before investing in them.

    Katy, St Albans Monday 10
    February, 2002
    this won't stop me driving into london - thats what they want me to do and i dont do anything that this nanny state wants me to do!

    Jean, Chesham Monday 10
    February, 2002
    I drive in and out of London each day - and now will be trying the train but admit I don't think it will last long. The public transport system is not adequate to attract people long-term. That's where more money should be spent.

    Justin, Dunstable Monday 10
    February, 2002
    I think the charge is a disgrace - why should we have to pay it when we already pay road tax, especially for the people who live there.

     


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