Congestion levels in the charging zone were 22% lower in 2005 than in 2002 before the scheme was introduced, the significant improvements in bus services have been sustained, air quality is better with the most harmful vehicle emissions down by 13-15 per cent, cycling levels are up 43%, and independent research demonstrates that road safety has improved with up to 70 fewer personal road injuries per year as a direct result of congestion charging.
Reductions in congestion were slightly lower in 2005 than in previous years. The average reduction since the scheme began is 26%. This is well above the Mayor’s initial target of a 20% reduction in congestion, and it reflects changes in road space allocation to improve road safety and assist pedestrians, cyclists and buses, which are demonstrably achieving additional benefits of importance to London.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: “This report shows that the Congestion Charge continues to be highly effective in decreasing congestion in the Capital. Traffic levels and associated carbon emissions have been cut, bus services have improved, the roads are safer, and London’s air quality has improved thanks to reduced vehicle emissions.”
“The Congestion Charge provides vital funds which are invested back into London’s transport system, and into encouraging walking, cycling and greater use of public transport. Cities from across the world can look to our scheme as a benchmark for how to tackle the economic and social problems associated with congestion.”
MichÃ¨le Dix, Director of Congestion Charging, said: “Three years on from the start of the scheme and London is a nicer place to work, live and visit. Traffic levels are down, more people are walking and cycling, the number of people using buses is up thanks to a quicker and far more reliable service and congestion has been cut.”
The congestion charging zone will be extended on 19th February 2007.