Sunday, 17 February 2008

London Congestion Charging - £250M Failure

Voltaire said “If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.”

Congestion Charging, Ken Livingstone believes, is to both 'reduce congestion' and to improve the enviroment. Admirable aims. Only it costs motorists around £200-£250M a year in beauracacy to 'support' achieving those aims... and has it actually acheived any target?

You really have to search through the smoke-and-mirrors of the latest Transport for Londons report to find anything approaching an honest answer. Shrouded in layers of gobbledegook and nonesense there's hardly a clear mission statement or achieved target to be found. Talk about honesty, clarity and accountability!!!

In fact the TFL report reveals both traffic levels are no better (filled with taxis and buses), average speeds have actually declined (average speeds through London have slowed from 16mph to 14mph) and pollution levels haven't changed one iota despite the masive expense and burden on motorists.

Ken now wants to 'change' his objective (a new goalpost) and targets CO2. Firstly CO2 is a essential natural resource for plant life. It isn't 'pollution' and it isn't even a greenhouse gas. And all worldwide road transport contributes just 0.6% to atmospheric carbon dioxide (96% are natural ommissions, man contributes barely 4%). So if all the cars in the world were removed tomorow there'd be no impact whatsoever on world CO2 levels. So Kens' new target is set for failure before he begins. Genius!

He's failed on both core objectives and will now fail miserably on his 3rd. You have to question quite frankly either his sanity or his real motives.

“It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” Upton Sinclair, American Author (1878–1968)

Capita Plc the main contractor responsible for running the scheme has been wracked with scandal for funding Labour (some claim to secure the contract) and Directors have been raking in huge salalries and bonuses despite Capita failing to achieve targets. Capita rake in around £15-£30M a year in profits while Ken has made a paltry £14M in the 5yrs of the scheme which is an appalling return on the huge public investment required to start the scheme. It really is a scandal.

Both Livingstone and TFL are fundamentally misguided in their aims and in the process are destroying the quality of life in London for locals and the cities many visitors. Not only have they not achieved anything whatsoever but they support a system costing the Earth. How much longer do Londoners and a democracy have to put up with such complete failure?

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