Snipe - The Scoop

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Boris Johnson to allow in an extra 30,000 vehicles

Boris Johnson expects an extra 30,000 vehicles to enter the Western Extension Zone once he scraps the charge there next year.

The figures released in response to a question from Murad Qureshi anticipate as many as 33,150 extra vehicles entering the zone each day.

To put that into context, there are just 21,000 licensed buses and coaches in the whole of London.

According to the Mayor:

"TfL estimates that removing the western extension to the Central London congestion charging scheme would increase traffic entering the extension area during charging hours by 10-15% over current levels. Traffic circulating within the area would rise by some 7-12%."

When the Western Extension was brought in around 30,000 fewer vehicles entered the zone.

This initially led to a 17-24 per cent reduction in congestion. However, that has since been reversed after a series of street and property works began in the area.

As a result of this, Kensington and Chelsea remains one of the most congested boroughs in London. 

And no matter what kind of spin Boris Johnson puts on that, this will only now get worse.

28 comments:

Helen said...

Oh, *good* - I wonder into which orifices Boris would like my asthma inhalers forcibly inserted?

AdamB said...

I wouldn't ask that Helen.

Mark Lee said...

Ooh, are the new MQT answers available publicly yet?

AdamB said...

No they're not on the website yet. They should be up by the end of today. You can email me for them if you need them sooner.

Mark Lee said...

There's no *need*, just curiosity - I think I can wait. Just wondering if there's anything in there that's worth probing him about on Thursday evening...

AdamB said...

There's a lot of transport-related answers that need wading through. It will be interesting to see whether he's able to answer them in the flesh.

Anonymous said...

"And no matter what kind of spin Boris Johnson puts on that, this will only now get worse."

Hmm.

They mentioned an increase in the proportion of buses to explain some of the recent increase in congestion. (chortle chortle)

Oh, and by the way, the figures for Kensington's congestion in that written answer aren't very helpful. Anyone who regularly drives around Kensington will tell you, most of the borough's congestion is on the Earls Court one-way system, which...oh dear...is outside the charging zone. Other than that, more or less, driving is, has always been, pretty straightforward.

Moreover, I'd draw attention to another statement in the 2008 report, which maybe you missed:

"Congestion results from the western extension show no clear pattern or trend."

In other words, they, you, Boris and everyone haven't a clue. So I think we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Whatever happens, scrapping the western extension of the empty-bus-subsidy-zone isn't about congestion, it's about democracy -- is that the bit you don't get? The people decided -- isn't that wonderful?

On the same subject, perhaps you would explain something else to me. As an avid radio listener, it didn't escape my notice that a couple of Saturday's ago, you got your very own St. Valentine's Day treat: an on air chat with Comrade Kenski! Wow.

In the discussion you said something about fare increases in public transport were for "paying off people in Kensington and Chelsea by scrapping the congestion charge". I thought the real beneficiaries were those in neighbouring boroughs like H&F, Wandsworth, and of course lovely Ealing? ...Or maybe you just have some kind of grudge against people who live in stylish Kensington. Sounded that way.

---Yours, Appealing of Ealing

AdamB said...

AoE - Democracy? The consultation showed that more people wanted to keep the charge as it is, or modify it, than scrap it. Boris ignored that result. I'm sticking up for the people of Kensington here!

I only got fifteen minutes with Comrade Ken on Valentines Day and that nasty Tory Roger Evans got a whole hour. I was heartbroken. Glad you enjoyed it though.

Kisses xx

Anonymous said...

Helen said...
"Oh, *good* - I wonder into which orifices Boris would like my asthma inhalers forcibly inserted?"

Nice.

---Rgds, AofE

AdamB said...

At least she gave him the option.

stuart graham said...

33,150 extra vehicles and not one of them a bus.
However, I'm not sure what Anonymous means by the real beneficiaries being those in neighbouring boroughs such as H&F and Wandsworth, but if congestion charge in reverse is anything to go by, it will be worse in those boroughs too as the 33,150 extra vehicles have to travel in from somewhere.
GFlad I live on the eastern side of London and travel mainly south of the river..

David said...

Adam, can you confirm you will never ever use Kensington and Chelsea as an example of a congested borough again? I have been researching the Congestion figures you linked to and have found out that the data is taken from the red routes (there are not only 32km of roads in K&C). Of the three Red Routes in K&C, only one (Cromwell Road) actually goes into the zone. The other two: Earls Court Road and Warwick Road are one way systems around the edge of the congestion charge zone - these are the roads everyone takes to divert around the charge. So if logic is correct, these two routes are currently receiving 30,000 extra vehicles per day - showing an increase in congestion, not as you say "street and property works in the area"

David said...

Oh and one more thing:

"Overall, over two thirds (69%) chose Option 2 – Remove the Western Extension. Just
under a fifth (19%) chose Option 1 – Keep the Western Extension as it is and the
remaining 12% chose Option 3 – Change the way that the scheme operates."

"Business respondents were much more likely than the general public to choose Option 2
– Remove the Western Extension (86% compared to 67%) and less likely to choose
Option 1 – Keep the Western Extension as it is (6% compared to 21%)."
source: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/roadusers/congestioncharging/westernextension/pdf/Annex-1-Analysis-of-consultation-responses.pdf

I have no idea where you got your figures (re comment 3rd March 17:00)

AdamB said...

I was referring to the attitudinal survey of Londoners which formed part of the consultation and was representative and concluded that 45% wanted to either keep or change the charge against 41% who wanted to scrap it.

AdamB said...

As for your first question, I'm not entirely clear what it is. I think you have only read the congestion map figures rather than the annual Congestion reports that I've also linked to.

Anonymous said...

"I was referring to the attitudinal survey of Londoners"

Yes, I knew you were. With respect, your selective use of the data was an ill-advised piece of spin. As stated on the TfL website :

"The consultation ran from 1 September to 5 October 2008 and attracted nearly 28,000 responses. Overall, 69 per cent of individuals and businesses responding to the public consultation supported the removal of the Western Extension. Nineteen per cent stated that they wanted the extension kept as it is, and 12 per cent supported changing the scheme to improve the way that it operates.

The representative attitudinal survey which was carried out alongside the consultation also showed a preference for removal of the Western Extension, although this was not as strong as in the consultation. Support for the Western Extension among stakeholders was higher with more in favour of keeping the scheme, although some stated that this was conditional on changes being made."

Also, I think David is picking up on my point above, that the most congested roads in Kensington are already outside the charging zone. So one needs to be careful when quoting figures with respect to the effectiveness of the zone.

---Rgds, AofE

AdamB said...

So you counter my statistics with some TfL spin AofE. How times have changed eh?

The problem with the non-statutory consultation is that it only gathers the views of those people who have strong enough opinions to have a) heard of the consultation and b) taken the trouble to seek it out and fill it in. The problem with that is that the results tend to be skewed by car-loving militant headcases like yourself (I'm referring to AofE here. David seems perfectly level-headed).

That said, I take David's point about the red-routes in relation to the congestion map, but it doesn't change the findings in the two main congestion reports or Boris's prediction that an extra 30,000 vehicles will drive into the zone.

Tom said...

"I have no idea where you got your figures (re comment 3rd March 17:00)"

There were two 'consultations'. I thought anyone with much interested in the WEZ knew this. The one with the 69% figure was the one heavily puffed by four Tory boroughs, and was basically a write in campaign. If that counts as democracy I'm a Dutchman.

At the most all Boris could say was that the results were inconclusive. He could have been brave and said the attitudinal survey by TfL was more trustworthy since despite the smaller sample size it was conducted on proper survey lines rather than self-selection (which would have opened him up to questions of who persuaded him to have the write in anyway). However, he chose the easy, crowd pleasing option that just happened to be strenuously supported by Kit 'Back to the 1960s' Malthouse, who obviously has no conflict of interest in being the local AM and a direct Boris appointee. Odd, that.

He could also have said that since business was opposed and residents slightly in favour, a hybrid scheme allowing access for commercial vehicles but charging personal ones would be investigated. I'd have no problem with that throughout the centre, actually, if it could be enforced properly (lots of people driving HGVs to work, would be the risk). Possibly exempting vehicles that pass the (full) LEZ requirements might work?

Anonymous said...

> So you counter my statistics...

by telling the truth.

> The problem with the non-statutory consultation is...

that you don't like the result. Exactly.

> that it only gathers the views of those people who have strong enough opinions...

from either side of the argument.

> The problem with that is that the results tend to be skewed by car-loving militant headcases...

or miserable lefties with chips on their shoulders.

> like yourself (I'm referring to AofE here. David seems perfectly level-headed).

Argumentum ad personam. Lostus argumentum, leftius spinum maximus.

> That said...

Nothing said.

---Rgds, AofE

Anonymous said...

"There were two 'consultations'. I thought anyone with much interested in the WEZ knew this...."

Tom---

Just because you have an internet account doesn't mean you have anything interesting to say, doesn't mean you know how to write, and certainly doesn't mean you have to blather ignorantly whenever the urge gets the better of you.

---Rgds, AofE

AdamB said...

Come now AofE, you know us miserable lefties lack any kind of motivation. If it wasn't for our dole money and Guardian subscriptions we wouldn't even get out of bed in the morning.

Whatever the skew, the attitudinal survey was representative and the NSC was not, hence the different result.

"Just because you have an internet account doesn't mean you have anything interesting to say, doesn't mean you know how to write, and certainly doesn't mean you have to blather ignorantly whenever the urge gets the better of you."

What was you saying about Argumentum ad personam?

Anonymous said...

"Whatever the skew, the attitudinal survey was representative and the NSC was not, hence the different result."

You haven't reasoned to that conclusion. I predict you never will.

Concerning my note to Tom, it was not, (like yours), an ad hominem argument because I haven't engaged him on any point or aspect of his argument -- my comments were simply rude.

You know Adam, I think I've been pretty much polite with you throughout, if a bit tongue in cheek, because I'm interested in the argument. However, when you resort to caricaturing me as a "militant headcase" it invites me, and others, to wonder whether you're serious at all...and, of course, you shouldn't be surprised if the gloves come off.

AofE

Anonymous said...

Since we're on the subject of ad hominem, as I'm sure you know, there are many forms of it...like this one for example:

"What was you saying (sic.) about Argumentum ad personam?"

Tu quoque

Time for some sushi, and a flick through the Torygraph. So long.

AofE

David said...

I do see the attitudinal survey results, however I struggle to see why the whole of London has to have a view on whether a residential area in West London should have a congestion charge, surely the people who really care about the charge (to either keep or to get rid) would have responded to the main consultation? I did and I'm sure you did. You must remember that the WEZ area is mainly residential compared to the central zone which takes in the main business sector of London.

On the issue of Kit Malthouse backing the removal of the zone, he obviously would. Most people in the WEZ don't want it, areas such as Hammersmith and Fulham have experienced more congestion as a result of it and he is representing their views - that sounds like democracy to me.

The 30,000 extra cars, which I imagine travel on the boundary roads at the moment, will be allowed to travel through Kensington and Chelsea meaning they will have more road space to drive on, causing less congestion all round.

AdamB said...

AofE - My apologies if I hurt your feelings. I meant it as a bit of badinage (along the line of 'miserable lefties with a chip on their shoulders') so please don't stay upset.

As for the reasoning, I don't know what else you want from me. The opinion of Londoners was shown to be marginally in favour of keeping it in some form and a bigger majority of businesses were in favour of of scrapping it. Ultimately though it was a non-statutory consultation (the statutory one happens nearer the time) and the final decision was Boris's.

Boris has made that decision and he has admitted that it will mean an extra 30,000 vehicles in the zone. That will mean more congestion, more pollution and less revenue to spend on public transport. I think that's a bad thing. You, I believe, think it's a price worth paying. Either way, it's happening.

Tom said...

"Ultimately though it was a non-statutory consultation (the statutory one happens nearer the time) and the final decision was Boris's."

This is the point to take away - Boris decided it, it wasn't the will of the public expressed in any way anyone would recognise as statutorily binding.

AoE is definitely a journo, isn't he? Cocky, self-assured on the outside, but a massive chip on shoulder about anyone apparently muscling in on the important role undertaken by the likes of him and Gilligan of dictating opinions to the proletariat. Tough luck, sunshine, words are cheap and opinions are like arseholes, every newspaper has one. Which paper's arsehole are you?

I actually have a day job I'm actually good at that doesn't involve using words but involves using my brain and ingenuity - poking the likes of you and AG in the eye online is my *hobby*. Also, don't bandy my name about if you aren't prepared to put your own handle in the public domain - it's not regarded as acting in a decent fashion where I come from, and makes you look a prat. The last journo to try this found himself the laughing stock of London.

Anonymous said...

"words are cheap and opinions are like arseholes"

I see. So next time you're laid low by a mystery illness, you will seek the opinion of:

a) Your doctor, or
b) Father Dougal McGuire

As for words being cheap, please consider the following cautionary tale about the importance of getting our words just right!:

http://tinyurl.com/ce5nz4

I was goading you. Thomas.

Bon weekend.

AofE

stuart graham said...

I refer to my comment of April 2009.
Thank you for reprinting it. It seems to have passed the test of 9not much) time.