The Urban Environment: Traffic congestion in cities is a problem throughout the world. Evaluate the effectiveness of one official initiative undertaken to tackle this issue.
Today traffic congestion has become one of the major issues that exert an influence on towns and cities in economically developed countries. Chen and Hai (2012,para1) explains that congestion takes place when the road space is overfilled by car users and speed of the traffic lessens, moreover, it is regarded as a potential reason for air pollution or even climate change. One possible approach is considered to be the implementation of road pricing policy, which would contribute to the decrease of traffic congestion rates, improvement of air quality and to the beneficial revenues. Such projects have already been applied with various structures in some European cities; London (2003) and Stockholm (2006) road pricing schemes appear be the most successful and remunerative solutions. Santos (2004, 514) claims that the London Congestion Charge is a scheme that was implemented in Central London on the “area-licensing” basis, which means it is compulsory for road users to pay a certain amount of charge for passing into the area on the working days. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of this method in the case of London by taking into account economic costs and revenues of the scheme, the scheme’s response to the problem of congestion and the impact on environment of area as factors that contribute to the clarity and objectivity of assessment. Firstly, it may not be the case that the project is economically justified referring to the comparison of predicted cost and revenues with those which were indicated after implementation. In ROCOL( 2000 ) the total annual costs were illustrated as around £30-50 million, while revenues were projected to reach the level of £230-280 million per year in addition to £30-40 million per year as penalization for...
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