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Central London Congestion Charging Scheme Has it Achieved its Objectives? Derek Turner Principal, Derek Turner Consulting
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 The scheme has been very successful “The people who said it would never work were wrong” –Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Transport 60,000 fewer car movements per day enter the charging zone Around 110,000 people a day pay the congestion charge “This is the best idea since the Underground. Like that was, charging is a bold vision that could help us rethink transport.” Transport 2000 “C is for calm: commuters stay away as London brings in congestion charge”
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Introduction to Derek Turner Consulting Objectives of the Scheme Background and Issues The Scheme How the Scheme operates Overview of scheme performance Traffic conditions Public transport Lessons learnt and Insights Agenda
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Derek Turner brings years of traffic management expertise Former Managing Director for street management Introduced congestion charging in London “I brought Derek Turner in to deliver congestion charging and my confidence in him has been rewarded. He is one of the finest public servants I have ever worked with.” Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London (May 2003) Derek Turner Consulting (DTC) is a strategic consultancy specialising in: –road user charging schemes –transport policy –strategic project and organisational management DTC has formed operational alliances to provide greater scope of delivery Introduction
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Objectives of the scheme Reduce inner London traffic levels by 10-15% Cut road transport delays by 15-25% Increase speeds by 10-15% inside zone Improve conditions outside zone Improve bus operations Produce net revenue of £130m p.a. Achieve a modal shift Objectives
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 London was in severe need of a charging scheme “ …transport has become the number one concern for businesses in London…” London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (1999) 90% Greater London residents said “there is too much traffic in London” ROCOL Group % of motorists found congestion in London as “very serious” Lex Report (1999) Central London average traffic speeds of 16km/h during the working day Background & Issues
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 There were many possible methods of charging road users Cordon entry permit –Payment on passing through toll plaza by Area License –Paper licenses for visual inspection, option of database –Virtual license with enforcement by digital camera –Electronic Road Pricing systems Workplace Parking Levy Background & Issues
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Issues affecting scheme introduction Legal powers granted in 1999/2000 to introduce a scheme Road Charging Options for London (ROCOL) report published 2000 Political issues: –congestion charging key issue of first mayoral elections (2000) –Scheme required delivery within timescale of Mayor’s first term Delivery Issues –Project team assembly –Integration of in-house and management consultancy teams –Procurement for a £230m project: –World’s largest road user charging operation Background & Issues
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 The central London congestion charge scheme is comprised of… Virtual area license with complementary database Enforcement using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cameras located on boundary of zone and within charging area “Intermediate technology” scheme allowed rapid implementation Cameras enabled greater scope for enforcement Ability to discriminate by vehicle type Payment easier – can be made on day of travel Possibility of future development into tag and beacon system the advantages to this are: The Scheme
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Timescale for implementation was 2 years The Scheme
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 The congestion charging zone is small part of London as a whole but covers a 21km 2 charging zone with around 200,000 vehicles a day on some of London’s most congested streets. The Scheme
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 The zone is monitored by digital cameras… … automatic number plate recognition technology enables information regarding capture and keeper to be identified. A294 BEC How it operates
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 …and is supported by a comprehensive communications network How it operates
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 A simple charge structure, a variety of payment options.. Who is charged? £5 per day By vehicle registration mark Payment made daily, weekly, monthly or annually Weekdays, 7am pm Those vehicles not exempt Payment in advance or until 12am of day zone entered Charge doubles after 10pm How to pay SMS text messaging 200 PayPoint outlets in zone 9000 PayPoints nationwide Free standing machines in car parks in zone Post Phone How it operates
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 A major public information campaign resulted in trouble free use Leaflets to 3 million households Over 35,000 packs to businesses operating fleets of 25 or more vehicles Call centre ( ) Advertising on TV, radio, newspapers Face to face activity in boroughs s to businesses in and around London How it operates
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Strict enforcement… VRM sent to DVLA. Keeper details returned Penalty Charge Notice Issued No Payment received Bailiff Warrants issued Vehicle clamped or removed No Matching Payment found Persistent Evaders £80 penalty charge is reduced if paid within 14 days Representations received in response to PCNs may result from incorrect input of vehicle registration detail How it operates
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 …and a thorough monitoring strategy Scheme supported by comprehensive Impacts Monitoring Strategy Provides feedback on detailed operation and effects of the scheme Results published each year 5-year programme Covers impacts on: Traffic & Transport, Business, Economy, Social Groups and Environment How it operates
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 …enabled a successful launch and on-going performance Congestion has decreased by 40% Public transport is coping well Buses are benefiting from reduced congestion Payment systems working satisfactorily PCNs issued at an average of 3% of payments received Public remains supportive of scheme “We always thought we had to live with congestion in our city centres. London has shown this is no longer true.” - Susan Kramer (board member for Transport for London and previous Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate) This is the world’s largest congestion charging scheme: Performance Overview
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Vehicle data capture allowed new traffic management procedures Working with London boroughs Successful accommodation of traffic diverting to the boundary route around the congestion zone Managing “knock-on effects” such as: –traffic calming –parking management Improved enforcement of parking and loading restrictions Improved co-ordination of street works Performance Overview
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Substantial benefits for London’s transport can be seen 25% Time spent stationary or <10km/h 30% Traffic delays 14% Journey times to, from and across charging zone 33% Excess bus waiting times on routes serving charging zone …as well as reduction in road accidents within zone expected net revenue for 2003/04 of £68million Performance Overview
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 The scheme processes large volumes of payments on a daily basis …as well as good public reaction Payments per day 108,000 Fleets 12,000 Driver responses to the scheme have settled Enquiries or payments at call centres have fallen from an average of 167,000 per week to 70,000 Payment rates for PCNs have steadily increased: 61% of those issued in August were paid by the end of September Representations received in response to PCNs has decreased from 62% to 16% since early weeks of scheme Performance Overview
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Prior to go-live, public support for the scheme was significant… 56% think congestion charging will cut traffic in central London* Two thirds of Londoners believe congestion charging will deliver some benefits* One third will use their car less in central London* 93% of respondents want action on congestion Opinion poll $ shows support for charging: 46% for charging 43% against charging * RAC “Making the most of Britain’s Roads Report 2003 $ Evening Standard 2002 Performance Overview
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 … though many local and national organisations were sceptical “It will be many years before the plans will come into effect - if at all.” –Evening Standard “It’s going too far too fast.” –The Automobile Association “Something needs to be done but we are not convinced this is the answer” –Westminster City Council Performance Overview
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Reduction in inbound traffic flow is significant and enduring Traffic Conditions
© Derek Turner Consulting most evident in peak periods, with no effect on shoulder flows Traffic Conditions
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Weekday speeds in and around the zone increased by 10 – 20% Traffic Conditions
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 % scheduled kilometres not operated due to traffic delays Mon - Fri Delays due to traffic disruption have almost halved Public Transport
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Indicative public transport survey results have been positive Public Transport
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Bus reliability has increased by over 25% Public Transport
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Peak hour bus speeds have increased by almost 20% Public Transport
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Lessons Learnt Political commitment mandatory Strong project management required Integrated team and partnership essential Clear procurement strategy is a must Presenting congestion charging as part of an overall transport strategy Importance of public information campaign Lessons and Insights
© Derek Turner Consulting 2003 Conclusion Lessons and Insights Enthusiasm and “can do” attitude can deliver an “impossible” project
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