Hot topic: congestion charge

Hot topic: congestion charge

News that the western extension of the congestion charge is to be scrapped has been greeted with joy by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

H&F has always believed that the western extension, described by Leader of the Council, Councillor Stephen Greenhalgh, as ‘London’s invisible Berlin wall’ has had no impact on reducing congestion in West London and has caused serious damage to local businesses.

The council has been at the forefront of lobbying against the charge.

Let us know what you think of the c-charge western extension zone.

» Send us your comments now

Please read our publishing policy.

» Watch the public meeting video on h&f:tv (opens new window)

What has happened to democracy in this country? I appreciate that the Mayor is loathed to do away with the congestion zone at this time, when money is so short, but he was voted in on this. We have voted once and I cannot believe that we are going to be asked our opinions again. We have an unelected Prime Minister, the Lisbon Treaty has been ratified without our approval, there is chance that our rejected previous Prime Minister will become President of Europe - all of these decisions made without public consultation because the decision-makers are well aware that they would be firmly rejected by the British population. The Congestion Zone extension was clearly very expensive to implement, but traffic in the zone is as bad as ever because: 1) The residents of London's wealthiest borough are all driving freely through both zones, paying next to nothing for the privilege; 2) Delivery vans are still clogging up London during working hours.  All deliveries should be banned between 6am and midnight. This would add extra costs to shop products, of course, but it would solve traffic congestion; 3) London is over-run by buses. A really great service if now offered during the rush hours, but hasn't anybody noticed that almost every bus running during the daytime has no more than 2 or 3 people on it? I understand that the buses and drivers are paid for regardless of the number of passengers and no-body really cares - BUT I DO! I hate seeing public money going down the drain. The congestion zone doesn't work and Londoners and shops have been promised that it will be done away with. Why don't we have a zone from the M25? I am very angry to hear that our views have been over-run again. How much does a public consultation cost? 
From Jan Morgan on 18/11/09

I supported Boris Johnson to become Mayor largely on his pledge to cancel the Western Extension of the congestion charge zone, which two years later, is still in place. Get rid of the Western Extension tax now!  From Chris Bradbury on 14/11/09 

You ask on your website 'that now the C-Charge has been scrapped, how has it affected you?' Well, it hasn't been scrapped yet, we have another year of it, so how can we comment?? Also, I have asked TFL if they would consider reducing the charge for its remaining time. Could that be something that you could ask from them too? Thanks.
From Pippa Chapman on 13/03/09

I am thrilled that they are ending the western extension, but why, if they have already decided it was a bad idea, are they waiting 18 months to revoke it? Bit odd to me.
From B.A. on 29/11/08

The Congestion Charge is a joke and should be scrapped. I ride a motorcycle and can see it has made absolutely no difference to congestion. In my opinion, the biggest component of congestion is TOO MANY BUSES!! They are all 1/4 full except for two hours in the morning and evening. The rest of the time it is total BUS JAM. They can't pass each other at the best of times, and then councils have introduced raised islands in the middle of the road and created further obstructions to passing across. Pedestrians need to use crossings to cross, not little islands in the middle of the road. And let's get rid of those bendy buses yesterday please. Every blocked road in London has a bendy bus on it somewhere. If you cut the number of buses by a third, the rest of the buses might get somewhere sooner.
From Andrew Whitney on 30/09/08

LBHF is already so congested. Westfield Shopping Centre opening will merely add to this. Proximity to the A40 and M4, major routes in and out of London, make traffic particularly difficult during rush hour times. The Western Extension merely pushes traffic out into LBHF. Very unfair on residents who not only have to suffer the traffic, but also have to pay the congestion charge to go half a mile down the road!
From Andrew Choong on 24/09/08

It should be abolished. It restricts free movement and will have reduced trade in shops within the area - I for one no longer shop inside the zone, as I cannot carry heavy shopping. This is extremely inconvenient. I live on the outside edge of the boundary and work inside it.
From V. Byrom on 11/09/08

The extension should be abolished. It has brought appalling additional traffic to the North End Road and, as a person with restricted mobility who relies on her car but who does not have a Blue Badge, it has curtailed my normal travel since I cannot afford to pay £8 every time I wish to go to Chelsea & Westminster Hospital or anywhere east of Earl's Court Road.
From Hilary Parsons on 10/09/08

With the increase of all other costs in the country, do we really want to jeopardise our area’s future with this charge? We are all struggling with our businesses at the moment and I am sure TfL can think of another way of making money. Oh, but they have already, they have just increased train fares...
From Annie Shukla on 07/09/08

There is no congestion in H&F, so why would we want to pay for something that would not make a difference!  We already pay more than enough.  Also, having to make my friends pay to park outside my house is even more annoying!  
From Shahin Jenab on 04/09/08

I support the extension being kept in place. The start of my journey to work, on the approach to Hammersmith Broadway from the Hammersmith Road, is easier now.  I suspect that the M4 from J3 to J1 in the early evening is less congested too.  I have noticed no change in parking availability at evenings or weekends in Addison ward.   
From Andrew Knowles on 30/08/08

It serves no useful purpose and should be completely cancelled.  
From Alan Haile on 29/08/08

The western extension is seriously damaging businesses within the zone, small shops and boutiques are closing at an alarming rate - just take a look at Kensington Church Street. Paying the charge deters people visiting the areas that have historically made London unique. I myself no longer travel into the zone unless I have to, I don’t spend my money in town and don’t access these shops. I drive 2 minutes into the zone to take my partner to work (a 5-minute journey) and this costs an additional £225 per month. The same journey by public transport takes 1 hour - that’s 2 hours longer journey a day. Having our car gives us a better quality of life, which has been taken away by the extension of the zone. I note that those who object, cyclists and public transport users who have buses on their doorsteps, don't pay the charge. If everyone entering the zone, regardless of mode of transport, had to pay, then EVERYONE would object! It comes down to money. The original city zone is beneficial and this should stay. The extension should go, we need to get around - its a city we live in. Traffic is to be expected, it’s what throws a lifeline to our local shops. Scrap the extension and re-inject life into our city or it will continue further into economic decline in an already declining economy. The routes around the zone are more congested than ever, the air pollution does not stay above those roads, it drifts further on. The air quality has seen no improvement, the same pollution occurs regardless of restrictions. The Western Extension Zone is a white elephant - SCRAP IT NOW !!!!
From Adrian Radford on 28/08/08

Bin it. It's been an expensive waste of time. Instead, charge utilities companies heavily for digging up our roads. They are not properly incentivised to get in quick and minimise location disruption caused. I think that the traffic lights all around London should be rephased to keep London moving. Finally, I also think the raised pedestrian crossings are dangerous, because pedestrians think they have a right of way on them, when they don't, and I can see them leading to accidents. Thanks.
From Nigel Ashfield on 27/08/08

Either scrap it or introduce a comparable zone in the east of the city. At present, the zone only exists as a stealth tax on the wealthiest borough in Greater London. The Congestion Charge should exist as a proper congestion solution.
From John Knight on 26/08/08

I am in favour, in principle, of charging motorists who use a scarce resource (i.e. central London roads), in order to encourage greater use of public transport or other alternatives. The original congestion charge zone predominantly covered the City of London, i.e. an overwhelmingly business district, and appeared to work well (although the residents of Borough etc. may have been less sanguine). The problem with the Western extension is that is draws a completely arbitrary boundary through areas that are largely residential. As a result, those living within the WEZ benefit from reduced congestion at a very modest cost, due to the residents' discount. For those living some distance from the WEZ, the impact is limited, unless they regularly drive into the zone, in which case the charge may well be targeted effectively. However, those living close to, but outside, the zone get the worst of all worlds; significantly increased congestion as traffic is diverted around the zone, increased demand for parking (from commuters), and an arbitrary division between where they can and can't drive without paying. Net result: good news for Holland Park, disaster for Shepherd's Bush (where I live). Does this sound fair or sensible? Therefore, I shall vote to scrap the charge, although I am very open to any more considered approaches to using tax to reduce congestion.
From Daniel Morland on 21/08/08

It has been a nightmare for us. We live only just outside the buffer zone and have to pay to drive to (relatively) local shops, hospitals, friends, etc. At the same time, the traffic and parking are now worse around us, because people drive as far as us, then park and take the tube. Please campaign to have it rescinded.
From Mary Ann Sieghart on 20/08/08

The Western Congestion Charge Zone provides an important deterrent to car use in a congested area of the city. I have a young child and still manage perfectly well on public transport without a car. It is simple selfishness and laziness on the part of those who complain - get organised, get a bike, get on a bus, get out of your car.
From Ian McDermott on 20/08/08

This should only be kept in place if it applies to those living in the zone - if you live in RBKC you should have to pay to drive in the western extension or into the city zone. What has happened is that the combined zones are accessible to those living in Kensington & Chelsea - hubby drives to the City every day and wifey drives to lunch/gym/hairdressers - very conveniently there is no longer any traffic on the roads and neither is penalised for the driving or the second vehicle. The resident exclusion made sense for the City zone where very few people live, but is a travesty in RBKC.
From Madeleine Bailey on 19/08/08

I am against the congestion charge and would like it if the West London Congestion Charge was abolished, as promised by the Mayor of London.
From Munna Malik on 18/08/08

The western extension should be scrapped. There are more problems than discernible benefit, even to those who don't use cars.
From Shelagh Donlevy on 15/08/08

This extension has been the end of many, many small 'corner shop' businesses. If democracy works, how come the minorities rule over the western congestion charge extension?
From James Merrison on 15/08/08

I am firmly against the extension of charging to drive into central London and feel it should be removed. It has caused increased traffic in certain areas, particularly Fulham, and has certainly affected small traders on the fringe of it.
From Caroline MacMillan on 12/08/08

Scrap it, it penalises the people of Hammersmith and Fulham, but allows the residents of Kensington and Chelsea to drive around with impunity. Visiting Chelsea and Westminster Hospital is now out of the question by car, and transport links in Sands End, where I live, are dire. If TfL wants to raise revenue it should start fining the many cyclists who run red lights and mount the pavement.
From Shelly Joynt on 12/08/08

I have come across a fair bit of biased reporting in local government publications, but your story on the "people's choice" on the future of the local congestion charge takes the prize. Without a single argument in favour, what public verdict than a negative one could be expected? One argument which your report failed to comment on was that many of our fellow "mums and dads" involved in school runs have switched to walking and cycling - ourselves included. Better air and less traffic in H&F? Not with a Council like ours, I fear.
From Dr L P Laamann on 09/08/08

The Western Extension is a great achievement and should be maintained. Scrapping it would be selfish, short sighted and a testimony of the mayor’s and the council’s lack of commitment to environmental issues. All surveys demonstrate that traffic has declined thanks to this extension and that congestion is due to utility companies’ works (look no further than Fulham Rd in K&C or North End Rd, Fulham Palace Rd, which are constantly dug up by BT, Thames Water and the likes). As a bus user and a cyclist, I noticed the difference and I would be quite disappointed if the Mayor let special interests win on that. I would also be happy if the council would stop using our tax money to campaign against the western extension in its publications. This money would be better spent on cycling infrastructures (stands, theft prevention, lanes).
From Fabien Lemoine on 07/08/08

Please scrap this charge asap!!
From Patricia Byrne on 06/08/08

Get rid of it! It provides no benefits whilst out of town commuters just use areas on the border of the zone to park their cars and then take the tube, depriving local residents of their parking spaces.
From Helena Coope on 04/08/08

I believe that private vehicles should be banned from central London (old congestion charge limits) at all times. Only taxis, bicycles, buses and commercial vehicles (delivery vans) should be allowed. I see absolutely no reason why anyone should feel the need to drive to St James Street for example. However, areas like K&C are extremely residential and free traffic should be allowed there and no congestion charge applied. Besides, with the current extension to K&C, many high wealth individuals driving large cars such as Range Rovers are now driving to work in the City, which surely defeats the object of the congestion charge! So in short, properly restrict cars from entering central London and remove the K&C extension.
From Greg d'Assche on 04/08/08

Keep it please. It is a step forward and a major bonus to cyclists.
From William Inglis on 03/08/08

I really think that extending the zone is a bad idea. To be honest, I think the zone in its entirety is ineffective. Having been both a driver in London and also a user of public transport, I have seen little benefit. The roads do not seem to be any quieter, with few, if any, people being discouraged to enter London, and the huge amounts of revenue that I assume the scheme has generated does not seem to have made any impact on the public transport system.
From Oliver Matthews on 03/08/08

We live at Parsons Green SW6. Every single morning the WEZ gridlocks the New Kings Road between here and Worlds End, as thousands of eastbound vehicles attempt to scuttle to the Embankment to avoid the C-charge. Everyone fuming on the now mostly stationary 22 Bus knows what we mean. Coming home in the evening is no better. Scrap the WEZ now please and get the New Kings Road and Kings Road moving again.
From John on 03/08/08

I use buses and trains and walk as much as possible in London, but when I do drive, I do not think the extension of the congestion charge to Hammersmith and Fulham has improved the traffic problems at all in these areas - in fact, it has had a knock on effect and made it worse. It is disgraceful that one of our major hospitals, Chelsea and Westminster should be one block into the zone, making it very difficult to drive elderly or infirm friends to appointments. I firmly believe the charge for the western zone should be scrapped.
From Jane Swithinbank on 02/08/08

I think motorists are already having a raw deal. We already have to pay to park where we live, although this payment does not guarantee us a parking space. We can then only park in a couple of local streets!  Yet people who live in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and who pay for residents parking, can park anywhere within their borough! We also have to contend with increased prices in petrol, and on car tax. Constant road works just to destroy any chances you have of getting to work on time! Road humps which are ruining the suspension on most cars! We will soon have a new shopping centre to contend with, as if the traffic around Shepherds Bush roundabout is not bad enough (especially when it rains and the drains overflow). Now you want to hit us with an added congestion charge. In this time of economic and financial difficulties, where do you think we can get the money to pay for this additional tax? When will it all stop, that’s what I would like to know?
From Gillian Quigley on 01/08/08

Regarding the congestion around West Kensington and Barons Court, could the council not introduce a ban on non-resident parking between 11:00 and 14:00 in order to deter the commuters from all day parking? We travel extensively across London and this seems to work very well in many of the other boroughs we visit.
From Ian Ross on 01/08/08

As a doctor who has to drive into the congestion zone to make emergency visits in K&C, I have found that the increased congestion around the zone greatly impedes my ability to reach patients quickly. There may be little traffic inside the zone, but my journey times into the zone have increased significantly. The zone should be abolished.
From Dr Anthony Jelley on 31/07/08

Yes, it must be scrapped. It was a bad idea at inception and has proven to be what the majority view was at the time and indeed still is. It is another money making exercise, designed to penalise already struggling motorists. All it does is make it prohibitive for families on low/fixed incomes to move freely around their local area. It stifles small businesses, who are already struggling with competition and over zealous traffic wardens targeting their customers. Although it is idealistic in principle to advise everyone to jump on a bus, if you have small children, plus all their paraphernalia, shopping etc. it becomes near impossible.
From Deniece John on 30/07/08

I think the zone should be retained.
From William Inglis on 29/07/08

As a small business working with a number of mobile contractors who have to drive through the congestion zone to reach clients, the effects of the western extension have been nothing short of detrimental to our growth. We had to increase our prices substantially at its introduction and hence lost a sizeable number of clients. I can see no benefit whatsoever to maintaining the western extension either from a business perspective or indeed from a personal perspective. Referring to the latter, the majority of my family and many of the amenities I use reside within the zone, whilst I reside 4 streets beyond the border of the zone...
From Anonymous from Perfectly At Home Ltd on 29/07/08

The western extension should be scrapped. Traffic into the City is worse, as lots of residents in the zone are now more motivated to drive, the charge free routes are totally clogged, and the parking in Fulham residential streets is now used by commuters hopping on public transport just outside the zone. Also, it is ridiculous to divide a residential area (why should we pay to get to a hospital appointment?!) etc. etc. Scrap it please!
From Eleanor Gibson on 29/07/08

It seems that the C-charge is spreading like a virus. I don't think this is practical. You should only have taxed areas that get constantly congested. Everybody congests London - cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, buses & taxis. Some of these get away with it, WHY? Why tax motorists only? We all pollute the world, so tax everybody or tax nobody. Democracy? Not anymore. What it really amounts to is that the council has found a niche in the market to extract revenues and the motorist can only object, but his hands are tied. There's so much rubbish around, the council could charge all those people who dump the rubbish illegally. Please, forget the motorist and concentrate on the real issues.
From Denis Parsons on 28/07/08

(Comment on the H&F council website online poll) I am not voting as the three options are too unclear. I would vote to retain and extend the charge, but can't be sure which statement registers a positive vote for the charge - unlike Michael Raeburn, I am assuming that 'I'm unmoved' means 'Don't know/don't care'. Stupid, dumbed-down wording for an important public issue. This will not produce a fair, reliable poll.
From Jenny Glover on 28/07/08

Every household should be consulted, not just people with computers. Nobody in London needs a private car, as public transport is very good and if anything, the congestion charge should be extended. As for the school run, don't get me started. Most of these people seem to think a mile and a half is a long way - it's a twenty minute walk. They could incorporate this into their daily exercise! Perhaps some provision could be made for people with small businesses.
From D Oxborough on 27/07/08

We, that is my family, are totally opposed to western extension of the congestion charge. We live in Munster Rd and prior to the extension, it was fairly quiet in the off peak hours, but since its introduction, our road has become a major rat run for those skating across Fulham to avoid the charge. Since the beginning, we have noticed a marked increase in noise and pollution to such an extent that it is now not possible to have windows open at the front of the house. The charge may have improved things within the zone area, but those of us just outside of it have seen a marked decline in our living environment. Large intercontinental lorries are now constantly using our road. This is not just during the day, but at all hours. It seems totally immoral to improve one part of the city to the vast detriment of another.
From John Baker on 26/07/08

Please, please keep the charge as it has improved travelling conditions for the majority of us who have enough sense to use public transport, though I do think some provision should be made for business drivers, but not the " too lazy to walk brigade ".
From Maurice Davies on 26/07/08

This congestion 'tax' is a waste of time and money. I have yet to see any benefits. In fact, I have seen more losers than winners: All drivers, both local and visiting, have been subjected to slow and increased traffic on the boundary roads. What should be a 10 minute journey now takes half an hour or more to complete; local businesses have lost potential customers because of this charge and restrictive parking zones; local residents who drive are already paying road tax and parking permits. At the end of the day, people are not going to buy cars, insure them, fill them up with petrol and not drive them. London Transport is simply not a good enough alternative. It is already struggling with the number of commuters. The tube fares are extortionate and the service unreliable. The buses can only hold so many people and they have to compete with black cabs and cyclists for use of the bus lanes. To keep traffic flowing, more roads should be opened up instead of being blocked-off by unnecessary barriers and bollards. London Transport has to be improved drastically and quickly. Tickets for the trains & buses should also be reduced as an incentive to get people to use them. Money should be raised from penalising certain companies who insist on carrying out so-called 'road works' at peak times. Money made from the scrapping of free bus rides for ungrateful school kids should also be considered.
From A W on 25/07/08

This unwelcome scheme should not be allowed in this borough.
From John Irikefe on 24/07/08

Please cancel the extended congestion charging area.
From Tony Casey on 23/07/08

I've just tried to register my view of this in your poll. As the TfL consultation doesn't seem to coincide with yours, I am unable to do this. How can we, the public, decide - when you don't ask us in a way that allows us to answer? Strange. Are you too frightened that your "residents" might not agree with you? This is a very sad reflection on your idea of local democracy. And even sadder is the fact that you won't have the courage to make this public. Or will you?
From Ann Styles on 22/07/08
Council reply: Apologies for any confusion. The H&F web poll on this issue is now closed and the Mayor's consultation hasn't yet begun, but in the meantime you are still able to submit your comments which we will publish here. Once the formal Mayoral consultation begins we will provide the appropriate links to it. Eighty five per cent of people in the H&F web poll voted against the western extension of the zone.

I live in Shepherds Bush and the charge has meant that I no longer use services and shop in Holland Park, Notting Hill and Portobello Rd areas during the week and many of these are closed during the weekends. There was never any danger that I would use my car unless strictly necessary, in view of the high cost of parking in K & C, which already had a dampening effect on bringing extra cars into the area. The C-Charge has, it seems to me, made traffic congestion on the main routes and peripheral roads (eg Fulham Palace Road) much worse. I would therefore like it to be removed. In addition, I understand the cost is prohibitive and there is no financial benefit to London. If it is to be retained, it should be made fairer. I picked up a fine on the slip road onto the A40 past Royal Oak station, where the signs are very difficult to see. Since I was unaware I had strayed into the C zone (for only 200 or 300 yards), I had to pay the maximum fine. There should be some warning built into the system, so that this does not occur. In this particular area, the C-zone should be altered so the A40 can be accessed from the Harrow Road without entering the zone.
From Philippa Turner on 22/07/08

Please get rid of it. I can see no good difference in traffic flow, but lots of build up in the bordering roads.
From Belinda Bland on 22/07/08

London needs an alternative to individual car transport. Congestion charging is fine, and I'm in favour of any charges on the many selfish car journeys and the way they blight our neighbourhoods. Cars are a menace, and it is incredible that the car owners have gained so much right to ruin so much for everyone else. If you wonder why I am of this opinion, just take a look at the gridlocked North End Road. It should be called North End Car Park.
From M Christensen on 22/07/08

Please scrap the Western Extension. It makes my day to day life difficult. I cannot go to any of the shops I usually do and my day to day activities (gym, my mechanic, preferred supermarket) are all now in the C-zone. Alternatively, let people living right on the edge (I live in W14) have an exemption or a meaningful discount. Thank you.
From Rumeena Bhalla on 21/07/08

I vote to remove the congestion charge from K&C. Not only are businesses affected by it, but vital establishments like Chelsea and Westminster Hospital are located just over the line, requiring anyone who needs to drive to them (such as pregnant women) to pay an additional tax or risk the consequences.
From D K on 20/07/08

Initially, I thought a congestion charge was a good idea - but what we have been given isn't actually a congestion charge as it doesn't stop people coming INTO London, it just charges people once they have reached a certain point.  If it's not going to charge people for driving in on the A40, M1, M4, A23 etc, then what is the point of it?  It doesn't penalise anyone except people who are already inside or on the edges of the zone, i.e. Londoners.  The C-Charge extension has made living in Shepherd's Bush a nightmare.  W12 has become just one big car park, as people drive in on the A40 and M4, then park their cars to get on the tube. The situation is not helped by the ridiculous local residents' parking situation, which the council runs, favouring pay and display drivers and minicab drivers over residents. Before the C-Charge, I didn't ever need to use my car in London, I only ever used it when I was going out of the city to somewhere inaccessible by (or too expensive on) public transport.  Since the C-Charge extension, I have been forced on several occasions to use my car when I would not have considered doing so: because I have driven back home but been unable to find a parking space, therefore have needed to keep using my car until the commuters had gone home.  The C-Charge seems to have made it more difficult to be green!  Either it should be a full congestion charge, one that genuinely tackles London-wide congestion and discourages non-Londoners from driving to the nearest tube stop and parking their car, or it should be scrapped.  As it is, it just seems to be another way to tax people for an utterly ineffectual service; a waste of time and of money that would have been much more effectively spent on something else. I don't have a car as a luxury, I have one as a necessity; I wouldn't need a car at all if train tickets to visit my family who live several hours' journey away weren't so ridiculously expensive.  (Recent train ticket prices I have been quoted include £75 to and from Bath, £100 to and from Cleethorpes and £333 to and from Liverpool; these were all "cheap day returns!). If it's not possible to introduce a congestion charge that is genuinely aimed at relieving congestion, the money should be used instead to make public transport much more accessible, thereby negating the need for people to use their cars.  The lack of a lift at Shepherd's Bush Green's new Central Line station is also not going to help persuade people out of their cars...
From Lucinda H on 20/07/08

Keep it going.
From Robert Seibel on 19/07/08

Scrap the extension!  As soon as possible, please!
From Nigel Allsopp on 18/07/08

I say get rid of the congestion charge in K&C, it was really only intended to squeeze yet more money out of the motorists!!
From Kat McDonagh on 18/07/08

The congestion charge extension should be scrapped.  It has done nothing for congestion and is just another form of taxation.
From David Foster on 18/07/08

I believe the extension is not fair on Fulham residents that have to drive regularly into Chelsea to drop off and pick up their children from school.  I also feel that in terms of area it is a little excessive to cover all of Kensington and Chelsea, as some parts are residential and not really appropriate for congestion charge.
From Valentina Simionato on 18/07/08

I would like the extension to be removed.  It is a postcode lottery which is very unfair.  I live in Fulham, close to the extension.  My business is in Kensington and has been in my family for over 100 years.  My whole life has been turned upside down. One third of the extended zone is parkland; it has created terrible congestion around the periphery and has affected my business detrimentally.  I now have to pay to make deliveries or make them after 6 pm which does not always suit me.  We pay very high business rates and get nothing in return.  I spend as much time in the extended zone as any resident and would like to see it dismantled.
From Alyson Lawrence on 18/07/08

Are there any independent surveys on the extension of CC?  I can only speak as I find - and that is: shops closing down, peripheral roads in gridlock for a greater part of the day and congestion inside the zone now just as bad as ever it was.  On this evidence I must vote against the continuation of the ECC.   But are my experiences unique?
From Jane Reed on 18/07/08

The extension was unnecessary, uncalled for and unreasonable in the first place. It should therefore be altered (cancelled) without delay.
From Reverand Dotun Okubanjo on 17/07/08

I am quite happy with the impact the congestion charge is having, but you don't provide a way to indicate this in your poll.  It would appear that the poll is deliberately constructed to prevent this view being expressed.  So much for consulting residents!
From Ian C on 17/07/08

I live at Spencer Mews W6, off Greyhound Rd & close to Charing Cross Hospital, with a private parking bay.  So desperate are parkers, my locking metal barrier was demolished and removed to aid someone's illegal parking.  It's also become a haven for unlicensed & uninsured cars.
From D Donnelly on 17/07/08

We have all enjoyed the days of car freedom for long enough and now we are left with its legacy.  We must take a stand and do all we can to promote more sustainable modes of transport and if that means discouraging people to drive through increased charges then so be it.  After all, we do live in a city that has excellent public transport and it is easy to cycle (if only there weren't so many cars).
From Lisa on 17/07/08

My view on the congestion charge is that it’s been a discriminatory tax raised to bring revenue.  Clearly, vast majority were against congestion charge which has affected day to day movement of people and their livelihood. I would like to see this scrapped in line with other boroughs.
From Amarjit Kamboh on 17/07/08

I would like the Western extension of the C-charge scrapped.  With regard to the original zone, how about modifying it by making it free (or with a reduced charge) after 10.00 am which would help reduce commuting, but also help businesses who have suffered by the reduction in their turnover by the drop in vehicular customers?
From C Walford on 17/07/08

I will vote against the C-charge.  This tax is fundamentally wrong as it does not take into account those people who have to drive to work.  I am not talking about commuting, but about all those people like sales reps, delivery drivers, plumbers, electricians, etc. that need to drive around London.  We are all concerned about the environment, but the benefit of a few thousands less cars around is almost irrelevant when compared with the pollution generated by industries, power plants and our homes’ heating systems.
From Andrea Ceccanti on 17/07/08

This comment is regarding Cllr Botterill’s views on page 7 of H&F news (15 July ’08) final 2 paragraphs.  I live on the very edge of Chelsea - in fact I pay Kensington and Chelsea TMO £692.64 pa. to park on a hardstand opposite my house.  The actual border is Wandon Rd, I believe. My property is in H&F and I pay council tax to that borough, therefore I am not eligible for a Kensington and Chelsea parking permit, nor the 90% congestion charge discount that those residents enjoy.  Myself and my neighbours have been massively inconvenienced and negatively affected by the congestion charge and cannot enjoy the benefits of our immediate neighbourhood as a result.  For example, our closest supermarket is within the congestion zone, but we can't use it during weekday daytimes without being penalised by the charge.  Traffic is now far worse around our properties, as far more cars avoid the charge and turn left up Finborough Rd to circumvent driving through the Chelsea borough and paying the charge.  Please pass on my comments to Cllr Botterill.
From Tony Bowran (Rates and Council Tax payer for the last 24 years) on  17/07/08

I think the central zone congestion charge worked well in terms of keeping traffic levels down.  However, I do not agree with the western extension and think the charge here should be scrapped.
From Matilda Palmer on 17/07/08

Scrap it!  It is a stealth tax.  When the technology becomes available, introduce proper road pricing for the entire UK - i.e. you pay an agreed amount in advance according to the roads you are going to drive on and the time of day.
From Anthony Collyer on 17/07/08

We run a property maintenance company and have 13 ageing vehicles. Since the extended congestion zone came in to force in February 2007, it has cost us £22,000. This, along with the £52,000 per year to park within the area, is nothing but a nose tax, and I only hope that the consultation forms will be a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question and are easily available for all to take part.
From Karen Spooner on 17/07/08

(Comment on the H&F council website online poll) I find the formulation of your three options astonishingly dishonest.  The option "I'm unmoved" presumably means that one wants the situation to remain as it is, but one has to think twice before realizing where to vote to express the view that the congestion charge - including its extension - has done a vast amount to improve access to Central London.  If you base any conclusions on this skewed vote, they will be totally meaningless.
From Michael Raeburn on 16/07/08

Those living just outside the CC area, ie in Fulham, are probably the worst hit. We need to drive into the zone in order to carry out essential tasks by car.  I have an elderly mother living in the CC area and have to collect and drive her to hospital appointments in my car, amongst doing other errands for her near where she lives in K & C.  I wouldn't object so much to paying IF it made any difference when I do.  On the occasions I do pay the £8, I find myself stuck in exactly the same traffic jams in both the newly extended area and the West End as I did before the charge came in.  Those that have to go into the area pay up and go anyway and those that can least afford it are the ones that suffer.  It is also ridiculous that now those living in the extended CC area can drive freely in the West End, doubling the amount of traffic in that area.  It is totally counter productive.
From Mary Alexander on 16/07/08

All motorists want to remove the Congestion Charge and all non-motorists want it to stay.  What's the point in this phony consultation?  Just count the motorists - they're a minority, so let's keep it (the C-charge).  The Council doesn't like it because it doesn’t get any of the money.
From Terence Hawk on 16/07/08

No to extension of C-charge in Hammersmith and Fulham and Yes to removal of charge in London.  Living in Fulham, if I have to visit a hospital in the charge zone then I would incur additional costs and would have no visitors to support me.  Already, many of my friends and relations have stopped visiting us in Fulham, as they have to cross the zone. C-charge has stopped us from going into Central London for shopping and why should we as residents of Fulham have to pay parking charges to go shopping outside our zone (within the borough), when we have already paid for parking through our permits?  Surely you can issue zone parking tickets FREE to residents.  Also, as residents we should be allowed to park anywhere in London for a limited time, eg. when going for a hospital appointment.
From Sunil Joshi on 16/07/08

Your position on the WEZ is disappointing.  As a bus user can you tell me what will be the impact of more cars on the roads?  I believe removing the WEZ will result in a slower, less reliable journey times for bus passengers.  Why do you continue to accommodate the motorist, when they are not in the majority?  And worse, at the expense of the rest of the population of Hammersmith and Fulham!  The poorest of us are reliant on efficient public transport which you seem to want to make worse for us.  The last thing I need in my life is a longer bus journey.  I know you’ll refer to present congestion increases, but in Central London these have largely been down to Thames Water replacement mains works.  Perhaps what you really should be championing is better co-ordination of road works between statutory undertakers.  If you really want to accommodate the motorist, why not reinstate the road building program of the 1970s and 80s that resulted in divided communities?  The West Cross Route could be extended south through the borough to the Hammersmith Flyover and then down towards Fulham Road.  Off course, swaths of houses and flats (not to mention a few listed buildings and parks) will need to be demolished in the process, but off course it is only the poorer part of the community that would be affected, so we don’t matter, do we!  If the road is designed as an elevated carriageway, then the remaining residents will have somewhere nice and shaded to park there cars.  This new road will of course make it so much easier to drive to White City Shopping Centre too, for those that are coming from out of the borough (another bonus) as well as alleviating the traffic chaos which is about to hit the borough.  Have you done any work into the option of splitting the existing CCZ into two?  The first being the original zone and the second being the WEZ.  This would curb the number of vehicles that are travelling around the zone and reinstate the congestion reduction benefits.  This is central London and people don’t need to drive everywhere - we have the best public transport in the world!  People who are opposing the existing scheme are only doing it for selfish reasons and are not considering the benefits to the wider community.  As a side note, I notice that the H&F News article has a quote from West London Residents' Association (who are leading campaigner against the congestion charge).  Did H&F News seek out an opposing view?  As a rate payer funded (not allowed to be political) balance reporting is a must.  Why not make the same commitment as BoJo did with ‘The Londoner’ and scrap this publication and put the money into much needed street tree-planting.
From A Brown on 16/07/08

Since the western extension in 2007, I have noticed the traffic levels in the southern end of Fulham have been dramatically reduced, but it is unfair on local residents and businesses that need to travel across the border into the zone on a regular basis.  I propose that the zone should be kept but H&F residents should be eligible for the discount scheme as we live on the borders.  In future years, the zone could possibly even be extended as far west as the A205/406 boundary at the Chiswick roundabout.
From Richard Baxter on 16/07/08

I assumed that the CC extension was another way of capitalising on the new Shopping Centre due to open at the end of this year in Shepherd's Bush.  Pollution will always be an issue in a large city, but it has to be weighed up against the additional financial strain some families have been subjected to.  I live in Shepherd's Bush and have primarily used the buses over the past two years - there are obviously exceptions but the standard of driving is atrocious - people getting thrown around when the driver hits the brake at the last moment, as though they have forgotten where the stop is - that's if they bother to stop - some just go sailing past.  It would be a more pleasant experience if some care and attention was paid to the passengers and some courtesy and general pleasantness would go a long way.  Maybe then people would be less inclined to drive and that would help the pollution problem too.  I would like the Congestion Charge to be abolished in this large residential area. Thank you.
From Susan Ellam on 16/07/08

The charge should stay.
From Simon Hope on 16/07/08

Scrap it in K&C.  Please can we do all we can to get rid of it.  We live next to North End Road which, for much of the day, is a mass of static traffic pumping fumes straight through our windows.
From Robert Hardman on 16/07/08

First of all I want to say that the on-line poll is a cheat.  How exactly do I vote to keep the congestion charge?  If I want it to go I vote "remove", but how do I vote for it to stay?  I want to keep the congestion charge because we as a society have to deal with the issues of congestion, air pollution and climate change.  Too few car drivers will volunteer to change their polluting habits, certainly not enough to bring about improvements.  So we have to gradually introduce rules to rein in what is fundamentally an anti-social activity - far more so than smoking for instance.  As a cyclist I notice the lessening of traffic in the congestion zone and this also improves my experience of using buses which can run more easily.  A vote against the congestion charge is a vote for the continuing destruction of our environment.  Don't be selfish - keep the zone and let’s learn how to adapt to it.
From Dennis Charman on 16/07/08

Very anxious to have it removed.  It has stopped me from shopping in RBKC.  One of my two children go to school there - just one and a half miles from home, but if he is ill or carrying sports equipment, plus musical instrument ,plus books, I am expected to pay £8 to help him out.  My young daughter goes to choir there twice a week and has had to make her own way there in all weathers, once getting flu after a downpour.  My husband's building work takes him into the zone every day and we are already shouldering the business burden with huge difficulty.  We don't live luxuriously, so it just means less choice in day to day things - less choice for healthy or organic foods, less choice for green products,  all of which are more expensive.  So who gets the benefits of this £40 a week instead?  Not the 'greens', whatever their claims.  How can we make a stand against the products of child slavery if our spending margin is syphoned off by TFL?  I am fundamentally 'green', but in real terms, not making a 'statement' about congestion which actually harms the case in the long term.  It is also a punitive, hostile and unjust system if you forget that you have been into the zone, as no reminder was incorporated into the ludicrously expensive system - a cynical move in my view.
From Philippa O'Driscoll on 16/07/08   

Living just outside the Extension Zone in Shepherds Bush, I was originally opposed, but I have since come to approve of it.  I have noticed no overflow into my area - the extra traffic that tries to avoid it, is more than matched by the lower volumes entering & leaving it.  Though I have a car, I rarely go into it - it always was difficult & expensive to park there (Shepherds Bush).  The effect on traffic in the zone is dramatic.  When using the bus down Holland Park Avenue, for instance it used to be quicker to get off & walk - now the bus just sails down the road; so it encourages the use of public transport & makes it more efficient.  The zone is also a more pleasant place to visit and shop now.  Let's keep it as benefit to most West Londoners.
From Andrew Lawrenson on 15/07/08

The extension should be removed. I have a work van that I cannot drive home because of the congestion charge and I have a car at home that I cannot use to get to the business in. At the weekend I have to park the van at the metre because I cannot drive it home.
From Hothi Sukh on 15/07/08

H&F Council Leader Councillor Stephen Greenhalgh:
Our motto is putting residents first and that is exactly what we are doing on this issue. We want residents to tell us whether the zone should be kept, scrapped or altered. Yes, as a council we have our own views and we have grave concerns about whether the extension if working. But we will be listening and acting on the feedback from residents. You will help decide the extension’s future.

Leading campaigner against the congestion charge David Tarsh of the West London Residents' Association:
The congestion charge zone extension has encouraged commuters to view our streets as a car park. It is no coincidence that spaces around Baron’s Court and West Kensington tube stations are being targeted, given their direct links to central London. TfL needs to see the big picture rather than fighting some sort of war against car drivers. They have blocked the capillaries of London with ‘traffic calming’ measures like bollards and speed humps. This has forced local traffic onto the main arteries, which then get clogged up. The trick is to get the traffic flowing again by looking at things like the phasing of traffic lights, rather than simply pricing people out of their cars.

Page last updated: 10/12/2009