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Taxi!!! London Mulls £-a-Mile Road Fee

October 12, 2009
Entering Congestion Charge zone  (photo by markhillary)

You are entering the Congestion zone! (photo by markhillary)

Maybe London drivers will be mounting meters on their dashboards, alongside the TomToms. Under proposed new congestion charges, after factoring in the cost of gas (okay, “petrol”), will it be cheaper to get around London by cab than in your own car?

To fatten his meager transport budget, Mayor Boris Johnson has proposed adding mileage fees to the current £8-per-trip  congestion charges already levied on autos entering London. That could mean paying £1 per mile along crowded routes around Edgware Road, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Embankment and, farther afield, Greenwich and Croydon, according to the Daily Mail.

How Mayor J. avoids the congestion charge.

How Mayor J. avoids the congestion charge.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal argues that CCs hurt the environment by (gasp!) reducing traffic, causing more people to … take to their cars. Hmm.

I know the Journal likes to toot its counterintuitive horn, but even the Cato Institute might take exception to an argument that assumes consumer indifference to user fees. Especially if Boris J. gets his way, and those fees skyrocket.

The Tube’s already pretty crowded, and that can stress you out, according to an eminent psychologist. For commuters stressed by CC creep, that may mean taking a cab, if these rates don’t stop you short.

Or maybe it’s time to check out the London Cyclist Blog, and join Big Blond Boris in the bike lanes.

Link to Boris Flickr image by Internets_dairy.

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