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C-charge hasn't prevented London logjam

Date: 07 August 2008   |   Author: Tom Webster

London is just as congested as before the introduction of the central and western charging zones, according to the latest annual report by Transport for London.

Fewer cars are travelling into the zone but reduced road space means congestion is back up to levels from 2002.

The report showed that five years after the zone's introduction cars are taking an average of two minutes 18 seconds to travel one kilometre in the charging area. The lowest congestion levels were in 2003 when the average time was 1min 36secs.

The biggest problem in the western extension is a major property development at Scotch House Corner in Knightsbridge. Road capacity has halved at the junction thanks to the works involved.

Water and gas replacement works have also contributed to the reduced road space.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has asked TfL to bring forward a series of measures to combat congestion.

Plans include re-phasing of traffic lights, allowing motorbikes into bus lanes and introducing a Paris style bike hire program.

Motorbikes are expected to be allowed into existing TfL owned bus lanes, which make up 40% of the lanes in the capital.

Johnson is also exercising new rules that allow companies to be fined for causing traffic delays through badly planned works.