Congestion Charging

I’ve just been pointed towards the GreenwichWatch blog (www.greenwichwatch.blogspot.com)which has a leak about the concept of congestion charging.

I’d highly recommend you take a peek at their site for full details (well as full as we’re going to get) but for the record, here’s my twopenn’orth.

I am actually in favour of some kind of congestion charging in Greenwich – we have far too much through-traffic in the town centre. But Greenwich Council appear to have forgotten something here – that we, the residents of Greenwich actually pay their wages. I wonder at what point of the decision-making process we were going to be told about this?

This all seems rather advanced stuff – surely we should have at least been afforded the courtesy of being told about it before it was decided. According to Greenwich Watch – and I don’t know how much they actually know and how much is knee-jerk – the decision to have charging has already been made – the only thing left to decide is exactly what the zone will cover.

To my mind, I doubt that Greenwich will be able to charge the amount that Central London charges and as for whether residents get a discount, well – that’s what the Central London residents have and I can’t believe that we will be expected to cough up full fee just for living here.

Maybe there could be some kind of permit system, like we already have with visitor parking permits – each resident is allowed a certain number each year for essential deliveries and visitors?

To my mind, what we want to curb is not the basic use of residents’ vehicles but the use of Greenwich Town Centre as a rat-run for outside vehicles ( mainly the lorries) just passing through. Congestion charge may help that. Frankly I don’t think the Government would allow the Tunnel Approach to be charged as this would be messing with their highways.

I wonder whether we aren’t all getting a little bit hot and bothered about this without knowing the full facts. Though it’s easy to see why that’s happening when we don’t know the full facts because Greenwich Council have decided not to tell us.


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