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  News about Britain
March 2003
Each month, the background to a story about Britain.
This topic is now closed but you can still read all the comments we received.

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Your comments


Nora Brook from USA (from Russia) writes:

Best of luck to hypothetical 10%traffic cut. Constant and fast traffic increase, presumably, included in calculation. Even so, it's next to nothing. The most ridiculouse theory, truly archaelogical as opposite to 'logical', is the Roman one of Dr.F.Pryor. Or it was a geat Britan humor? What was really effective in former Sovet Union's great city of Leningrad, is the tough government control over population consumption. It was made next to impossible to bye a car except for certain very limited category of Leningradiens and still at awfully inflated prices. It worked. Now, of course, the traffic is free to be like in London, New York etc. And it is plus the driving manners of stone age. So, blame the earlier men, not these overused Romans.
Please, don't take it politically, let us be philosophical.

Kevin Dong from China writes:

First, i don't know how much money should you to pay to living city central per month in Britain.But i am sure more and more people will chose to living city instead of expensive car's will rise price of the flat in the city central reasult in .In future ,it will be more crowd than now if living city .so balance between city and village will be destoryed.

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Mohd Amir Riaz
from Pakistan writes:

I think that Congestion Charges is a good idea to control the trafic, due this only Genieune peoples will go to that area. Except this Congestio Charges, Govt have to take bold step to Stop The Total Entrance of Vehicles in Central London to control the trafic.

Daniele Landini from Italy writes:

Dear BBC,
I read your article regarding the congestion charge with interest. We have the same problem in our bigger city in Italy. I think that common man or the smaller entrepreneurs in the centre of London will be the most affected by this charge. They have to pay for this charge. Business people or company’s managers sited in London, they usually use the car for few kilometres instead the public transport, will escape it because the company pays for it, directly or indirectly. I think also that increase tax for the London citizens will mean to increase the inflation and that will mean to cut down the power of the salary employers… new problems to resolve. The fundamental thing to do is to increase the public transport of the London’s and prohibit the centre to the private cars. At the same time, the cost of the public transport has to be reduced to help the normal people to use it. Also, the Government has to encourage all citizens with every mean to adv the public transports. Simple charging commuters by the congestion charge will not improve the situation.

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L. Frank from France writes:

If you really want to sort out the problem of car congestion in big cities as London or Paris,the best thing to do from my point of view is to set main streets to pedestrians and people on cycles.Another thing to do is to develop drastically public transport to make it reliable efficient cheap to all commuters.The tube must be the framework of the system.The buses should use freely streets remaining on the main routes.In Strasbourg, they use the Tram a sort of bus on rails .It's really useful for people and efficient as well. To reduce cars and trucks on roads has another advantage is to break the pollution down. Thank you.

Bae, Misun from South Korea writes:

l'm living in Pusan which is the second biggest city in South Korea so it's always full of cars and people. We also have serious traffic problems and people always complain about it.
Our city have tried many ulternatives to prevent traffic jams and ease the situataion. They've tried to fine, prevent people from driving on certain days and encourage people to use public transportation.
As a result, most of the big cities in South Korea have well-developed public transportation system and you don't really need your own car because you can actully go anywhere you want using public transportation. But about fining people, l think it can cause more of negative responds. They used to strenthen the regulation and fine them a lot. But without effective policies and systems of transportation and traffic, it will only make people complain.
l think the city has to come up with those ideas first that can make the situation better. Fining can be the last policy.

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Saeed Fallah from IRAN writes:

The best way to control traffic, particularly in big cities, is extending highways and also subway routes. the traffic in Delft, a small city in the Netherlands is not heavy at all because many people use bicycle for their daily works.
Congestion charge would be a nice idea to solve the traffic problems. by doing this operation, people use more public transport rather than using their own car. So obviously it leads to a decline in traffic problem.

liu zhaoqiang from China writes:

I think traffic is a big programme in the world,every country have their one ways to solve it.Londen'method is a way,and I think is a good way.Because if you connect something to money ,they will be very careful.

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Hiroshi Katsuma from Japan writes:

I completely agreed with the congestion charge for the cars entering city center in London. First of all,from humanity point of view, individuals have the chance to reacknowlege what is the most important for their lives, and also the charge makes good chances for individuals to reconsider the theme that what is freedom and what is unfreedom by using car.
Secondly, from the economical point of view, everybody using cars recognize how it cost to use cars as social cost which is mainly invested in infra-structure;on the other words,everybody will become aware of the cheaper cost in comparision of the compensation of their freedom due to the benefit from cars,and finally,of the contradiction between their benefit from cars and social matter.
As set out above,I think that this policy will drive ourselves to one of the breakthrough for both the present relation between individuals and society ,and chaotic economic condition.

Zore from CHINA writes:

As you know ,the problem of traffic already have been severe problem all over the world. By industry of moter vehicles is developing in high speed,the problem will get worse.I'm annoyed with the problem sometimes.I hope find a mothed that can help us to be presented from realistic problem.I think that congestion charging is available mothed.

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Kudryavtsev Alex from Russia writes:

I think that the best way to control traffic in a big city is to provide good comfortable fast public transport. Once people are sure that they can rely on a public bus or metro or whatever it is they will not use their cars within the city. They will deffinetely prefer to save their money and nerves. I live in a small city - no problems with traffic. The way Mr Livingston found is not bad. He will solve the problem and he will raise some money. One thing I am certain about is that he is never going to win the next elections.

Eva Black from Singapore writes:

I don't think it is a good idea to ask for people to pay for what they have to do. You know the government is going to provide convience to the residents as much as possible. If what the government has to do is to levy a toll on the people, how can it serve people.
In my view, the best way for us to tackle with the modernization problem is to design a better way for the modernization, that is to say, we should try to solve problem according to what caused it.

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Soapy from China writes:

It,s a good idea to cut London,s traffic by chargeing the drivers some money .The policy has many advantages. but i think it can not solve the problem completely. I live in Wuhan, China. It,s a big city with very bad traffic. But people live in the city have got used to that.

Ling chen from france writes:

I don't think that "the congestion charge" is a good idea,but I understand, if London has always been congested,we must controle this situation.Can we let the vehicle whose number is odd number enter on monday, wednesday and friday,and the even number can enter thuesday and thursday.

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Duong kheang from Cambodia writes:

The best way to control traffic in cities.
- educate to the people about the traffic law.
- more trainning to police officers
- put all the signs on the streets

Mansoor Khan from Pakistan writes:

Your question has three parts, so i will answer ur question in three parts.
1-) i think one way to control the traffic in the city is that u transfer some irrelevant offices which are inside the city and has no special work in the city but just creating disturbance inside the city,u transfer them to the out of the city in this way the traffic relevant to that offices will reduce and if there are 100 such that offices and atleast each office has three vehecles, then 300 vehecles will become less.(in my point of view..) U can also divide vehicles such that u lock to enter the big traffic in the city in day time...and allow them to enter at late night...
2. i think ur question meaning is that what kind of traffic i like inside the city ....(sorry my english is not good.. )
if ur question is this then ..
i think that short vehicles are the best.
3-)i think it is a good idea for controlling the traffic inside the city..

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Jiazi from China writes:

i live in the Beijing of China,and the congestion problem also exist in my city.However,many effective solutions have been put forwarded and carried out,such as crossroads,different regulations of different roads.To some extends,these means have released the crisis of congestion problem.

Shizuca from Kyoto, Japan writes:

It is a destiny 4 people in the cities 2 have traffic jams, I suppose. In the cities, people sometimes must pay extra money, while other people in the suburbs do not have 2 do that. But the point is that the government must go public an information how 2 use money from a congestion charge. I really think it is very important, however, Japanese government is not good at release.

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Rex from PRC writes:

I think better way is to strengthen and improve the public transportation,though this will be more difficult than charging every vehicle going across the central region of London.However,it will surely make effects too.
The traffic of the city I am living now is quite different.We have far more bicycles than vehicles,and jams happen all the time,but they are all small ones.And sometimes you will think bicycle is more convenient because of its agility while another serious problem appear:bicycle stealing.
To be practical,I believe the changing method probably is the best idea now.

Dr.Tomohiro Naruse from Japan writes:

I feel a lot of vehicles comes into a big city. Needless to say, during the daytime, big citites become congested area. Charge fee is a good idea to decrease cars comming into big cities. In Japan, I stress that prefectural capitals introduce the charge fee as well as London. It's a good idea, I think.

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Panxinglai from China writes:

regarding to the congestion charge to motorist on London,I think it is a temporary solution to iron out the problem of traffic jam.because in London the traffic jam was caused by increasing vehicles. as the developing of London,it will be more and more vehicles coming,it is not perfect solution proventing vehicles from London by charging them,and it could be low work i think London goverment must change the existing London road routes,but before or during goverment change the road routes, charging the mortorist to controll the quantity of vehicles is a good way.

Liumo from china writes:

i think it is a good way to deal with the traffic problems,but it is a little bit 'cruel'.people who own cars want to have more convenience and more freedom.if the government request all the vehicles' owners to pay for the charge ,i think maybe it will decrease the number of vehicles in the city centre .but it may also decrease the income of the government .because there are always many department stores in the centre of a city.when people are asked to pay for the charge ,they are very likely to change their destination and select other places for shopping.

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Zhencui Zou from China writes:

From my point of view,congestion charging maybe effective to some extent in improving the traffic condition in London,but cannot solve it.Government should encourage people to put forward more proposes to deal with it,such as back to bike era,build up more effective public transport system etc.Sure,the final solution should be benefical for both country and people.

Hanh Thuy Tran from Canada writes:

The best way to control traffic in the cities is to limit the individuals who drive their cars to the cities by encouraging them to use public transports such as: train, bus. charging more for car park spaces in the cities is also effective for reducing number of the cars enter cities. Specially, a crowded city is like London, a limit of cars in the city is very crucial. Therefore, i think the idea of a congestion charge which is made by the Major of London for owners of the cars entered the city is a good way to handle traffic in London. I am currently in Saskatoon, the city of Saskatchewan. the traffic here is perhaps less crowded than London. I think may be this is a small city or there could be a good method applied to control the traffic.

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Lenin Montano from Panama writes:

The congestion in this little country is amazing. You just cant move, and there is a big possibility to have a crash if you are in a big congestion.

But to charge to got into a city? a think it will not have a warm welcome.

abigail zuo from China writes:

congestion charge is really a good way to control the traffic.But there are another ways to control it. 1)widen the road 2)cut the price of public transportation 3)How about using car-pool more time 4)There is no car in the city one day, especially rest day(saturday or sunday) 5)Make it difficult to get a car

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Tse Eugene from China writes:

I don't think it solves the problem in deed. I think, thouth, it gives privileges to people who can afford the fees and deprive the rights of others.

chevallier jonathan from france writes:

Hello, i do understand how tedious this idea of charging people might sound to your ears, yet i'd rather say London has the best tube system i've ever seen in my whole life,still i'm not that old.As a matter of fact, using a car is sthg people have to do, at least some of them; and that's precisely the point i'd like to draw your attention to.Let's get the people who don't need their car home, or at least use the public transports.London, i guess, will soon get better.Cheers, jonathan.

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Teddy Picanon from FRANCE writes:

Creating a congestion charge is not the best way to stop traffic. Poeple who need to enter central London have no better way to pay. Improving the quality service common transport is better. Althought, there is a lot metro in Paris, the suburb, during the week have only got 2 RER per an hour. Security in RER, particularly A, is a problem. Personnally, I have no car and I have choosen to live near Paris not spend all the time in transports. The rent of my studio is expensive and the gouvernement is taking measures to reduce one.

Josue Alves Assuncao from Brazil writes:

1- I think is investment in subway, and plate with number alnternated.
2- The trafic is very bad, we have few line subway.
3- yes, but if have other altenative,because anyone like pay toll.

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Christobal VanEstoy from FRANCE writes:

Hye I live in Paris, so a big city, and I think it's a very good means to decrease the quantity of cars in the center of the big town to create a congestion charge. In fact, most of people who live in Paris don't use a car to move whereas the people who come from the suburbs use a lot their car. It's a good idea to improve the environment of people who live really in the big cities.

Takeshi Ichikawa from Japan writes:

I think this charge is very interesting in terms of trying to solve the problem of congestion by money. This policy may be economically reasonable because time can be considered as a resource which you can buy by money. But I'm a little afraid this policy leads to giving advantages only to rich people. This policy seems to say you can't live or play in London if you don't have money.

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Bob Lau from Singapore writes:

Traffic congestion in major cities around the world are getting serious.
One way to solve this problem is to increase the capacity of the road system. But, this will hit the limits as well and it is not cost effective way to solve the traffic congestion problem.
The congestion charge will increase the cost of driving in the city and will force some people to look for alternative transport. Hence, this will reduce the load on the roads. But, to ensure the success of the congestion charge, the public transport system should be able to meet the surged demand. Otherwise, people will have to go back to their cars.

yu yin from China writes:

improve your public transport. encourage people not to use their car.<

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Aaron A. Ramírezfrom México, Mexico Citywrites:

Thanks by this oportunity, to share our opinion.
- The best control traffic is enance other means of transportation, by example public transportation. In my coutry specifictly Mexico City, the caotic traffic situation, is requering an aqurate and quik response,our goverment gave just paletaives in last years like the plan to let cars drive in some days a week, but never saw the necessity to open new ways to it. Now are traing to resolve the problem, by example building second floor to old streets. In Mexico city there are not free ways, no suburban train. They need thing about it.

Arkadiusz Kozdroñ from Poland writes:

I think congestion charging is a first steep to reduce number of cars end other engine vehicls. Second steep should be to rent bicycles, scooters, scateboards.

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Fanzhifang from China writes:

I have been to London,which isn't as fantastic as expected.As a cosmopolitan city,it is a difficult problem to control the traffic;a congestion charge isn't the key to solve the problem,either.The best way ,I imagine,is to develop the subway system and encourage the public to use public services instead of cars.

Betty.Wu from China writes:

In my opinion,the best way of contolling traffic is making all the people protect the environment.Because it can make fewer cars in the road. If people all understand the importance of the environment's protection,I think the traffic will be better. It means what the people think is the key to the traffic problems and to all the problems in the world.
I'm a senior student and 16 years old.I hope you'll help me with my English.I want to improve it and want to go to England very much.
Thank you.
Your friend

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Naz Siddiqui from Pakistan writes:

What i think to over come to control the flow of traffic is to add some new routes rather than to impose the congestion charges because its not a long-term soluion, ppls have already paid a heavy amount of taxes so tht is not fair with them.Let suppose 4 a moment tht all the ppls that make a rush of traffic in central Lodon have to come to this place, then they all wld pay the charges then again its not the proper solution bcoz the problem is still there.

Cindy from Taiwan writes:

I think it is a brilliant idea provided that public transportation is affordable and reliable. If public transportation cannot live up to meet the need of those who live in the city, then there is no point imposing congestion charge. London's underground system is great but it has not as reliable recently. Bus service is cheap on comparison but the service is bad and unreliable. I think a lot has to be done to improve the public transportation.

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Catherine lee from China writes:

As I know ,it is very common over the world that trafic congestion is becoming more and more serious.Taking a congestion maybe a practical method. However, encouraging people to use public transportation is important as well.

Ctimir Pitkin from Czech republic writes:

In my opinion is a congestion charge good solution for limitation the particular automobile transport in the event of, do you 3/4 acquire financial means from congestion charging go to the fund of public mass transport on system improvement and decrease fare. Traffic transport must be solving complex.

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Sónia Sofia Pereira Alves from Portugal writes:

In the first place i do like to do a little reference about this kind of concern saying that the World Economie is suffering a moment of crisis,so i don't think people are receptive to pay a congestion charge when their lives are themselves congestionated and so, i don't see it as a (good) idea.In my city, traffic is a problem among many others but it's not something that deserves so much attention.Honestly, i don't see a way to control traffic in cities because people are more selfish and they will not abdicate of something that is usefull and at the same time, a convenience. Best wishes!

George Yohannan from USA writes:

I think you try to keep the average income people free of toll charge. Try to impose a toll charge on all business vehicles. To and Fro for employees should have a ceiling of income. If any employee's income is over the ceiling, then that employee is entitled to pay the toll. In this case, they must be assigned a free monthly pass.

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Dr.Fareed AbdulMuhsin Warid Al-Laftah from Iraqi living in Qatar writes:

My answer is rather short, as I always believe in the proverb that saying: a short conclusive word is the enough for wise
I prefer that building crossed streets with bridges without traffic signals are the most excellent ways to control traffic, although are more expensive than traffic signals, but more efficient to control traffic jam. the best way to control traffic problems and all other problems is to focus on the essence of the problem itself and it's real cause, , rather than treating their outcomes and charging people more ,so as to decrease traffic problems is just like giving a patient pain killer to make him comfortable without treating the main disease. Regarding London, I think you like many other countries which concentrate on the capital city more than other cities in all aspects of life; political, social, commercial ...etc and this definitely will excite people to live in the best developed city with resultant overcrowding. Overcharging them will have bad consequences in many ways although it could result temporarily in relieving some of the traffic troubles and such negative consequences as examples are:
1. Rising of the prizes in the private section of commerce,
2. Shift of people to overuse the public transports, which of course are liable for many technical problems and if anything happened like that, then you'll have more problems other than traffic ones.......... My opinion for solving such problem is to shift the interest of population to other many cities and make them as important as the capital one in all aspects.

Yung Man Tat from Hong Kong writes:

Ifounf that the Learning English Programme in BBC World Service is very useful for our and appreciate to have more products of this kind of programme

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Barbie from China writes:

I think the congestion charge in London is not a bad idea, but there should be more methods to solve the traffic problem. For example in the city i live, some companies start working at 8 am, but others half past 8. This is one of the regulations the government applied to solve the traffic problem

Amat Maajalla from Malaysia writes:

I think, It's a good idea When all driver must pay the charge to enter the central of london.This also will make london decease with pullation.

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Wilson Li from Hong Kongwrites:

This is the funnest thing that I ever heard before. You have to pay $5 if you want to drive in central London. Why don't you block all the central roads to avoid the congestion. Congestion charge is only deteriorating the traffic condition of the roads surrounding London central. The best way to avoid the congestion is providing the comfortable, convenient and less expensive mass transportation, such as subway or bus network, but not stopping people to go central.

Kate Chung from Hong Kong writes:

I don't think this is a well-thought idea. First of all, this is rather unfair as only those living in central London can get a discount. How about those who need to work in central London? Secondary, the policy maker is rather short-sighted. The long-term solution is to build more roads, encourge people to use public transport and move business out of central London.

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Masood from Pakistan writes:

1.Overhead bridges or undr ground passeges.

2.very congested all over big cities in my country and un fortunatly it is unplined and hehazerd.

3.yes congestion chrge is good idea if you provide other means to approch the center which should cheap and easly available.

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