Which, given that it has serious congestion problems, makes sense. Not only does it make walking and cycling more cost effective, it lowers the cost advantage that driving has over FirstBus (of course, value fares and an effective public transport system could also do this) and makes the cost of driving into town more tangible than a weekly fill-up or yearly service+MOT+insurance. It also penalises people who use the car, rather than just own one but leave it outside their house on weekdays. And, if we follow London's lead, the charge can be made worse for group G cars and less for hybrid/zero pollution cars. More subtly, London doesn't (currently) offer a resident's discount on a Group G car, so if you live in the C-zone, you get to pay 25 quid a day for driving your Porsche in to the city where you get to unwind your hedge-fund's exposure to the US. It is this daily fee that has really killed the group-G resale value in the south east, and so deflate demand across the whole country.
- It requires the city to roll-out a ring of ANPR number-plate monitoring cameras and record every journey into and out of the city; data they will retain for up to five years.
- There's a fairly complex billing system that needs to be run, one that takes up a lot of the fees.
- Where will the rest of the money go? To FirstBus, probably. Which is so very, very wrong. At least in London, you know that Transport for London is trying to help you.
- Hybrid cars still take up space and cause congestion. So why should they get a free ride? Surely they should still be charged something?
(photo: van trying to get round lorry blocking picton street unloading and various cars parked on yellow lines).