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A few concerns about the way the pollution argument is going:
1. When the Congestion Charge was introduced the publicity said it was to improve traffic flow in Central London. It has failed to do that and traffic speed is lower now than when it was introduced. Slower traffic speeds means more pollution.
2. Traffic speeds have been reduced yet further by the epidemic of speeds humps and now councils introducing 20mph speed limits, so creating further pollution.
3. The introduction of hard edges/kerbs to cycle lanes reduces road space for powered vehicles, massively during the building phase and continuing on completion, so again reducing road speeds and raising pollution.
4. We have an increasingly ageing population for whom walking any distance or cycling is not possible and their car is their only means of travelling independently, so both the congestion charge and the new T-charge is basically a tax on getting old.
5. Following on from point 4, why are disabled badge holders not exempt from these charges?
6. If the aim is to increase cycle use, then it is urgent that cyclists are required by law to register, undertake training to achieve the level of competence required to deal with city traffic and take out some kind of insurance to cover their liability when they cause accidents and damage to pedestrians and other road users.
7. The different strands to this policy are contradictory and incoherent, but it doesn’t seem to matter as long as the people paying the bill are those demons of community irresponsibility – private motorists.
8. I am of course, retired, having driven around London for the last 40 years in the course of my work, carrying audio-visual equipment, publications and various materials, which I could not carry any other way; and being charged ever increasing amounts for parking and then for just getting to work at all with the Congestion Charge.
9. It is depressing to me to see the traffic problems of London being tackled by anti-motorist bureaucrats who seem to have neither experience nor concern for the overall picture of travelling around London and just come up with a series of ill-conceived and poorly implemented gimmicks, which actually make the problem worse.