Congestion Charge increases to address traffic congestion should be considered, transport commissioner Mike Brown has said, after suggestions the capital is approaching a 'crisis'.
The Transport for London (TfL) boss said traffic flow would ease from mid-January as some construction schemes, including Cycle Superhighway installation, passed critical points, and an action plan on traffic could be expected after ‘we get beyond this immediate challenge’.
Under questioning from Val Shawcross, chair of the London Assembly’s transport committee, about whether there was 'more that could be done' with the Congestion Charge, Mr Brown said: ‘I have no doubt that it would be a useful thing for a future mayor to at least consider looking at.’
Ms Shawcross suggested that the 2013 Roads Task Force had failed to anticipate some of the trends now causing what looked like a ‘crisis’. She said: ‘I think there is a perfect storm of traffic congestion at the moment.’
Factors included temporary roadworks, population growth, minicabs continuing to increase by almost 100 per week, and social changes leading to more delivery vans.
‘There has been next to no bus priority schemes for several years,’ she said. Congestion was affecting bus passengers particularly. ‘The workhorse of London transport is being held back,’ she added.
Mr Brown admitted that the issue of accommodating traffic growth needed a fresh approach ‘almost immediately’.
He had expected the market to take care of the increase in private hire vehicles, but now he was ‘of a view that some type of quantitative regulation’ should probably be considered.