London Assembly to scrutinise congestion charge scheme

12 Dec 02
The London Assembly and the Association of London Government are independently to evaluate the capital's congestion charge scheme following Transport for London's decision to conduct its own monitoring.

13 December 2002

Both the Assembly and the ALG have questioned TfL's impartiality after it rejected calls for an independent examination of its £7m monitoring of the scheme, which starts on February 17.

'TfL has a vested interest in saying that congestion charging is a success,' said Nick Lester, director of the ALG's transport and environment committee.

At a meeting on December 13, the ALG was to agree the terms of a study into the scheme. It could cost up to £85,000 to complete and will be dependent on the London boroughs contributing. But the study will largely depend on TfL making its baseline data available for scrutiny, for which the timetable is still being negotiated. TfL said data would be available 'within a year'.

Both bodies had hoped that the data would released in a matter of a few months. Lester said: 'It is perfectly understandable that TfL wants to check its figures but any delays in screening and they could be said to be massaging the results.'

The Assembly's transport committee is also to establish its own set of performance criteria after TfL and Mayor Ken Livingstone refused to disclose how the success of the charge will be measured.

In a draft report, seen by Public Finance, it outlines a number of benchmarks, which could also feed into the ALG's report. These include the level of net revenue raised by the £5 charge to drive through central London, its impact on the city's economy and whether it cuts congestion.


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