Pippa Grey, a reader of LondonUnlocked, recently sent the following email to the site (reprinted with her permission):
I was very interested to discover 'LondonUnlocked'. As a heavy user of the bus network around central London I have spent some time thinking about how we might relieve congestion in a way that the current charging system has failed to achieve.
It seems to me that a considerable number of those who persist with driving through town regularly are those whom the charge would not deter - people travelling on company expenses or with considerable wealth. The remainder are delivery, business/service van drivers, taxis, buses and emergency services whom I would consider essential travellers and those driving a one off, essential journey.
I would support a plan to ban driving for non essential users (including the above, VIPs and disabled people) and issue all London Council Tax payers with say, 4 permits per year (free of charge) enabling them to enter the centre of town. Given most Londoners only drive through town for such 'one-off' journeys any way, this would both please residents by relieving the charge and more importantly, prevent unnecessary users from congesting the City on a regular basis. A total ban seems extreme and would prove highly impractical for such infrequent events as moving house or driving to an airport, but a ban for 'normal driving' would free up our roads enough to make bus and taxi transport a speedy and viable option for London transport users.
I'd be pleased if this reached your website,
This scheme is certainly a new twist on the current Congestion Charge situation. Too many people are either overly penalized by the charge, or remain relatively unaffected by it. This proposal certainly appears to equalise that situation.
LondonUnlocked wants to push a debate on issues such as this, which affect a great deal of residents and businesses in the capital. Let us know what you think. You can contact LondonUnlocked through the 'contact' page on the site.