C-charge boost for bikes
Bikes are set to get another Mayor-backed boost in London with plans to raise the Congestion Charge for car drivers by 60%.
Bikes are exempt from the current £5 charge and Mayor Ken Livingstone is not thought to be about to change that. So with car drivers facing an £8 charge for each journey into the zone, the impetus to get on to two wheels instead grows stronger.
Livingstone intends to raise the charge in July 2005 and use the extra £50 million it will raise to tackle congestion outside of the central zone itself. The Congestion Charge Zone is also likely to be doubled in size – extending into the West End.
It’s got to be good news for biking. In the first year of the Congestion Charge in London there was a 20 per cent rise in bike traffic in the city. In the same period there was a 15 per cent FALL in bike casualties in the zone. Bike sales in London rose 20 per cent and the speed of traffic in the clogged up city rose 15 per cent.
Ken – as far as we’re concerned you can double the charge. Just make sure you keep leaving jam-busting bikes out of the equation.