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  • RICHMOND PERMIT PARKING | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    RICHMOND PERMIT PARKING This page covers the campaign against the Emission Based Permit Parking scheme introduced by the London Borough of Richmond in 2007 (see bottom of page for the ultimate success of this campaign). ​ This article was published in Jan 2007: The London Borough of Richmond have recently announced major increases in parking charges (they expect to collect at least £1million more). One additional element in their proposals is to charge permit parking scheme users based on the CO2 emissions of their vehicles. This could result in some residents paying as much as £300 per year, instead of £100. A press release said the following: ​ “Richmond’s New Parking Charges Miss the Point, says drivers’ group. Richmond council has hit the headlines today by announcing they will charge residents more to park outside their homes if they own ‘gas guzzling’ cars. The new tax is an attempt to reduce CO2 emissions. ​ In any case, targeting a small minority of car users will not make any significant impact on CO2 emissions. One of the most interesting recent statements from Transport for London in their submissions on the Thames Gateway Bridge inquiry was the following statement: “Private cars constitute only 10% of total UK CO2 emissions, and the position appears to be both under control and improving, largely due to technology”. If you assume only 10% of cars are “gas guzzlers” and their owners all moved to smaller cars (with about half the CO2 emissions), then the net impact will be 0.5% of CO2 emitted in Richmond. But of course most of them will not, and many cars are parked off the street so the net impact will clearly be imperceptible. ​ These charges are obviously not about improving emissions, but simply about raising more money for hard pressed council budgets from local residents.” ​ The council’s consultation document provided little information on the likely impact of these proposals which in reality were likely to reduce CO2 emissions by less than 0.25%. ​ Campaign We mounted a campaign to defeat these proposals and circulated over 7,000 leaflets to residents in permit parking zones within the borough of Richmond. There were several hundred responses. Liberal Democrat councillors who thought up this idea got a lot more objections than they expected. ​ Press coverage was also strongly in opposition and it is astonishing to see the numbers and type of people who supported our stance – even people who don’t own cars! There was a general consensus that the proposals were “gesture politics” of the worst kind and “green policies” were being used to extract more money from impoverished motorists. ​ This article was published in March 2007 about the subsequent public meeting at the council: Our supporters in London have been campaigning against the proposed implementation of changes to permit parking charges in the London Borough of Richmond. The new charges will be based on the CO2 emissions of the vehicle – low emission vehicles will pay less and those in the highest band will pay three times as much. There is also a much higher charge for a second vehicle. Needless to say that there was widespread consternation among residents who live in permit parking zones when these proposals were first announced. Even non car owners and people with a strong commitment to environmental issues thought the proposals were a nonsense. Supporters distributed some 7000 leaflets encouraging residents to object to the proposals, which got a good response. Roger Lawson and other members of the public spoke against the proposals at a council meeting. One particularly interesting speaker was Michael Williams, a market research expert, who confirmed that in his view the council's survey form was a good example of bad survey design as it was clearly designed to bias the answer. ​ Richmond Election Result (Article published in June 2010). One of the most gratifying results in the London Council elections, at least to your editor, was the loss of the London Borough of Richmond to the Conservatives by the Liberal Democrats. ​ The Liberal Democrats in Richmond adopted many “anti-car” policies, and when they proposed a “CO2-based” permit parking charge we joined in the democratic opposition to it. There was widespread public revolt which culminated in a public meeting organised by the council where almost all the audience was against it. ​ The local Conservative manifesto included an “End to the war on high streets, adopt fair parking policies and scrap failed CPZ tax surcharge on parking permits” and they have subsequently announced they will be scrapping this scheme. ​ Even more satisfying was the eviction of former LibDem Council Leader Serge Lourie who lost his seat by just 6 votes. He did not seem to believe in democracy (at least in terms of the public getting what they wanted) from his handling of the affair. Conservatives also won two local parliamentary seats from the Liberal Democrats. Of course there may have been other factors at work in these successes but it shows how local democracy does work when issues which personally affect them are presented to the voters in the right way. ​ Back to Campaigns

  • LEWISHAM AGAINST ROAD CLOSURES | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    LEWISHAM AGAINST ROAD CLOSURES This page covers the campaign run by local residents and supported by the FFDF against the closure of many roads in Lewisham as part of the “Healthy Neighbourhoods” policy. In summary, these proposals are causing enormous inconvenience to local residents, visitors and delivery drivers apart from causing congestion on other roads. The latest changes to the LTN scheme will be unlikely to help everyone or solve the problems which have generated the complaints. The first area Lewisham Council planned to cover was Lewisham and Lee Green where road closures were installed on a "trial" basis but other areas they propose to cover are East Sydenham, Telegraph Hill and Bellingham. See Background for more background information. Such schemes are of course a part of the Mayor of London's Transport Strategy to get us all walking, cycling and using public transport and prejudicing those who wish to use motor vehicles of any kinds. These proposals are being funded by central Government and the Mayor of London via Transport for London (TfL) - the cost has not been disclosed. As the finance for such schemes was cut back, the Covid-19 epidemic was then used instead to justify road closures and to obtain funding for them. ​ More Details The closure of Cambridge Drive, Leyland Road, Upwood Road (see photo above), Manor Lane and Manor Park are causing great inconvenience. Some closures are also affecting residents who live in the Borough of Greenwich and other adjacent boroughs who have not been consulted. ​ These closures are causing traffic to be diverted onto already congested roads such as the A20, A205 (South Circular) and A2212 (Burnt Ash Road) and mean even longer queues of traffic on the latter at the traffic lights. ​ Residents who are likely to be affected by these proposals should certainly contact their local councillors. We have received numerous comments on the road closures and a file of those received up to 02/04/2021 is present in this document: Comments-Received-2 . ​ We have made objections to these plans but local residents need to do so also! ​ Note that there is a report on the “Public Drop-in Event” for this scheme on the 6th February 2020 on our London Blog here: Event-Report . There is also a report on the Lee Green Assembly meeting on the 11th February 2020 here: Meeting-Report . Councillors were clearly still not listening to the objections and have continued to ignore them since! The Meeting-Report contains their contact details. ​ This note was published on our blog in early June 2020 to give an update on the proposals for Lewisham: Lewisham-Update. ​ Road closures in other parts of Lewisham have also been put in for Scawen Road, George Lane, Kitto Road, Glenbow Road, South Row (later cancelled), Bishopsthorpe Road and Silverdale. These closures have been authorised using Temporary Traffic Orders. We have sent the Council letters formally objecting to the Traffic Orders. You can use this example as a template: FFDF-Objection-Letter . Local residents are advised to submit similar objections. ​ One of the justifications for the Healthy Neighbourhoods and subsequent proposals in Lewisham were that they will promote "modal shift", i.e. encourage more walking and cycling, and reduce air pollution by reducing traffic. But there is no hard evidence from other similar schemes that have been implemented that modal shift actually takes place in reality. In addition the claims for air pollution reduction are very unlikely to be true - in fact, it could get worse as a result in Lewisham if roads are closed. We have published this note on our blog which covers the air quality issue in depth: Air-Pollution ​ We have been distributing leaflets against the road closures in Lewisham and can supply free copies if you would like some to distribute to local residents. Use the Contact page to request. ​ Our comments on the latest proposed changes to the LTN schemes in Lewisham are present here: Lewisham-Backtracking and how they are closing roads using the excuse of School Streets when there are no schools on the roads: School-Streets ​ PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU OBJECT TO THESE ROAD CLOSURES AND TELL YOUR COUNCILLORS WHAT YOU THINK NOW! PLUS SIGN THIS PETITION: PETITION ​ PUBLIC CONSULTATION: Lewisham Council issued a public consultation on the Lewisham and Lee Green LTN in June 2021. Go here for more information: CONSULTATION . A report on the results of the consultation and what they plan to do has now been published. See this blog post for comments: CONSULTATION-REPORT. In summary, it’s a misleading report and ignores the majority view of respondents. ​ This blog post gives a template letter that you can use to object to the Permanent Traffic Orders and comments on the difficulty of obtaining information from the council: Template-Letter ​ Postscript: All of the objections submitted to the Council were ignored. Complete the form below to register your interest in this campaign and to be kept informed on future news and how to object (entering your postal address is optional but it helps us to know which road you live in). ​ Back to Campaigns ​ ​ ​

  • ABOUT | The Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    ABOUT THE FREEDOM FOR DRIVERS FOUNDATION The Freedom for Drivers Foundation (FFDF) is an independent organisation that simply represents the views of our supporters who are representative of the mass of road users in the UK. Anyone can register to support our policies. We promote your views to national and local Government bodies and provide information to our supporters and the general public. We try to counter the misinformation spread by many people on the use of private vehicles, and we promote freedom of choice about how you travel. Don’t let the anti-car fanatics drive you, or price you off the roads. This organisation was originally formed by Roger Lawson to deal with traffic and transport issues in Southeast London but expanded later to cover all of London and the wider UK. This page contains more background information on how the FFDF represents UK motorists. It also covers our policies. Our objective is to provide an active, responsible voice to lobby on behalf of Britain's drivers. We believe that official policies in recent years, both from the national Government and from London bodies such as the Greater London Authority (headed by the Mayor of London) and Transport for London have discriminated against drivers and private vehicle owners for no good reason. The financial incentives to favour public transport are misguided in essence. ​ Road Pricing and Congestion Tolls Many people are promoting road pricing and congestion tolls which can mean higher taxes for the average road user. For example, the London Congestion Charge has not been a success despite claims that it has and is enormously expensive to operate. It is a simple and crude system and with other cities developing CAZ schemes would it not be better to consider a national road pricing scheme? ​ Taxation Each year the Government raises over £50 billion in taxes from road users but only a small fraction of the money raised is spent on improving our roads (about £7bn). The result — you end up sitting in traffic jams. Any road pricing scheme needs to ensure that the overall level of taxes paid by drivers does not rise. ​ Road Safety Road safety policy has become distorted in the UK by anti-car and anti-motorist policies. Speed cameras breed like rabbits so that millions of people now receive speeding fines, but road deaths are barely dropping. A whole industry has developed from collecting money from motorists in the name of road safety when there is no hard scientific evidence for any benefit and the UK is falling behind other countries in reducing casualties. ​ Speed humps have sprouted everywhere causing major problems for people with medical conditions, delays to emergency vehicles, more noise/air pollution, constant annoyance to road users and much higher costs from vehicle damage. But there is no evidence of any net benefit. ​ Parking Parking costs are rising rapidly, and provision falling, as local authorities use it as a “demand management” technique to cut traffic – in reality they just make life enormously inconvenient for the typical motorist. Decriminalised parking regulations and fixed penalty notices for bus lane and box junction infringements erode your basic human rights to a fair hearing and are often used primarily to raise money by local councils in London. ​ The Environment The use of road transport is being attacked on environmental grounds. But air pollution from private cars has been falling substantially and technology is going to make matters even better over the next few years. ​ Emissions from all kinds of transport are only a fraction of total air pollutants, and those from private cars an even smaller factor. Unreasonable and unnecessary attacks on car usage will not solve any environmental problems. The people questioning the use of private cars are often unreasonably prejudiced or ignore the facts. ​ This Web Site This web site does not just explain our policies. It also contains all the facts and figures to support those policies and is a mine of information on transport issues, particularly in London. Our past newsletters (see Newsletters ) which are downloadable from the site in full also contain many relevant articles. The web site and all past newsletters can easily be searched for information that is of interest by using the site Search facility - see box at top of page. If you can't find what you are looking for, require specific advice or simply wish to send us some comments, go to the Contact page. ​ This web site concentrates on traffic and transport issues and our past campaigns to support motorists. See this page for information on campaigns: Campaigns or our blog for the latest news. ​ Why You Should Support Us Private cars and motorbikes provide the most flexible, and most cost-effective transport mode and are used for more than 85% of journeys. Those who wish to stop you using them often have vested interests in public transport or otherwise wish to curtail your freedom. ​ JOIN TO SUPPORT OUR ACTIVITIES If you want to learn more about our activities and receive the latest transport news just register to receive our newsletters for free here: REGISTER ​

  • SPEED CAMERAS | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    ROAD SAFETY - SPEED CAMERAS There are now thousands of speed cameras across the UK, with the numbers still growing - for example average speed cameras are being installed on a number of arterial roads in London such as the A13, A2 and A40. There is little hard evidence of any real benefit certainly in relation to the installation and running costs versus other road safety measures (see below for some of the evidence on that). But with the invention of Speed Awareness Courses, there was a strong financial incentive to put in more cameras - see the AMPOW campaign for more information here: Speed-Awareness-Courses . The articles below have been published in the last few years on road safety: ​ The following article was published in June 2003 (later articles are at the bottom of this page). Cutting Excessive Speed and Warning of Road Hazards Much emphasis has recently been placed on reducing vehicle speeds on British roads. So, for example, over 3 million speeding tickets are likely to be issued this year, and speed humps have been sprouting everywhere. And yet these expensive programmes have had a negligible effect on road accident statistics. All that has happened is that an army of people (police, court staff, and the manufacturers and installers of speed cameras and road humps) have been deployed to achieve very little. ​ At present we have a regime where minor infringements of speed limits result in severe punishment, as if we were all naughty children who needed severe disciplining. In the case of speed humps, we are actually chastised with corporal punishment, when it has long been abandoned in our courts and schools. ​ However, it is still recognised that reducing vehicle speeds at known danger spots would clearly be advantageous. How to achieve changes in driver habits, or warn drivers of temporary oversights, at an economical cost and without unnecessarily criminalising large swathes of the population is the issue. Perhaps education is a better approach? ​ Well recently the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) have reported on the use of electronic warning signs. These can warn drivers of excessive speed, or alternatively be used to indicate that dangerous bends or junctions are coming up. You may have seen some already in Bromley or other London boroughs and more extensive use is anticipated. An example is shown below. ​ The picture above shows a sign that lights up to display a vehicle's speed when it is above a certain level (yes the van was actually doing 38 mph on Leesons Hill, Orpington before braking). ​ Now the really interesting thing about this report is that it conclusively shows that these devices are not just effective at slowing down drivers, but that they are also much better than speed cameras at reducing accidents. At the sites studied, where these devices have been installed over a number of years, average speeds were reduced by 4 mph, and by 7 mph for junction and bend warnings. Accidents were reduced by one third! ​ Another major advantage was that the effects did not seem to wear off over time, and the initial installation cost and running costs are a fraction of those for speed cameras. These devices can also be used as a good alternative to speed humps on minor roads. ​ SIDs Do Work (article published December 2008) Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) actually do work to slow drivers according to a recent study at 11 sites around south-east London by TRL. ​ On average they slowed by 1.4 mph and accidents could be reduced by as much as 5 per cent according to the report. The London Borough of Bromley has 75 of these electronically activated signs which warn drivers of hazards or display vehicle speeds. They are much cheaper than speed cameras. ​ Speed Cameras (published December 2009) Speed cameras of the digital type (Monitron) have been popping up all over London in the last two years. They are easy to miss as they are placed at the top of a tall pole and must have caught many people unawares, rather than their visible presence deterring speeders. ​ Speed cameras in London are operated by The London Safety Camera Partnership (LSCP) which is dominated by the bureaucrats of TfL, has no constitution and holds meetings in secret. They claim to be a road safety initiative designed to reduce speeding and the number of vehicles running red lights in the capital, but they don’t produce any evidence as to how effective they are. Postscript: LSCP used to have a web site but that has now disappeared. ​ Speed Display Devices v. Cameras (published October 2010) There has been a vigorous exchange of letters on the merits of speed cameras, and the alternative of using speed display devices in the pages of Private Eye. Your Editor joined in the debate to point out that speed display devices were much more cost effective in terms of accidents or injuries prevented. The following is a brief summary of the information present on the Safespeed web site which was produced by Idris Francis and others), based on the original TRL report on the subject and scientific analysis of the relative costs and benefits: ​ The original TRL548 report said that speed display devices reduced accidents by one-third in their study and that they were very effective at reducing speeds. Indeed they are more effective than speed cameras are at reducing accidents and casualties. Speed display devices initially cost about £5,000 (or less) with very low maintenance costs, whereas speed cameras cost about £50,000 per year to operate. The relative cost-effectiveness of display devices versus cameras is therefore about 50 to one. This is an enormous difference and yet even after this figure was well known, speed cameras were still being advocated by central Government and politicians. The key point is that for the same amount of money (and budgets are always limited), you can save many more lives and injuries by spending the limited resources that are available on speed display devices and not cameras. In addition you avoid the criminalisation of large swathes of the population (over 200,000 people banned from driving now annually due to getting too many points on their licence, thus threatening their livelihoods). In addition, thousands of people are involved in the totally unproductive activity of issuing speeding tickets, and collecting the fines, including of course the police and courts staff who would be better occupied on real crime. ​ RAC Foundation Report on Speed Cameras (published January 2011) In November 2010 the RAC Foundation published a report on "The Effectiveness of Speed Cameras", authored by Professor Richard Allsop. In our view the analysis contained therein was defective, and a rebuttal was published therefore in this PDF document: Speed-Camera-Effectiveness (click on to read). It also covers some of the contrary evidence and argues that expenditure on speed cameras actually costs lives rather than saves them because the money expended could be better spent on alternatives. ​ Thames Valley Speed Cameras (published February 2012) This article was published on one of the few independent analyses of the effectiveness of speed cameras. It shows they have negligible impact on injury accidents: Thames Valley Speed Cameras. Postscript: Mr Finney's full evidence is now present on his own web site here. Back to Road Safety ​

  • ROAD SAFETY | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    ROAD SAFETY Road accidents are of major concern to many people. Although casualties have been falling over the last few years, it is not at all clear whether this has been due to road engineering, improved vehicles (e.g. in-car safety), major improvements in medical care or road safety policies such as speed cameras, lower speed limits, speed humps, or other measures. The FFDF is deeply sceptical about the benefits of some of those latter policies (for example look at our analysis of speed humps on this page: Speed-Humps ). ​ It is deeply regrettable that politicians seem to grab at the simple, if expensive solutions, as a quick fix or panacea to road safety problems. In reality, the issues are often complex and expert advice is often ignored in the search for a simple solution. The law of unintended consequences also applies - for example speed humps can actually cause accidents and have certainly increased air pollution substantially. There are many misconceptions about the number of accidents, the causes of accidents and how to reduce them. This presentation given by Roger Lawson to the Chislehurst Society in the London Borough of Bromley in 2016 covers some of those topics: Understanding-Road-Safety-2 ​ It also covers how to look at particular accidents and their causes (use of Crashmap site and Stats19 data) instead of jumping to conclusions as is so often done. ​ We have published a number of articles on the topical issues of 20 MPH speed limits, Speed Cameras and Speed Awareness Courses. These subjects are covered on separate pages here: ​ 20-MPH-SPEED-LIMITS SPEED-CAMERAS SPEED-AWARENESS COURSES ​ See this blog article for some comments on Vision Zero and the statistics on the causes of accidents: Vision-Zero Road safety is always a topical issue and there are likely to be more articles on the subject on the Blog - use the blog search to find more. Back to Resources

  • LEGAL BASIS OF TRAFFIC CALMING | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    LEGAL BASIS OF TRAFFIC CALMING Some of the questions that are often asked are “How is it legal for my local council to obstruct the road with speed humps?”, or “Can I claim against the council for damage to my car caused by speed humps? or “What are the permitted dimensions of speed humps?”. This article explains the laws by which speed humps are regulated in England and Wales and helps to give answers to those questions and many others. The Secretary of State has powers under the Road Traffic Acts to set Regulations in respect of traffic calming measures and the relevant ones are as follows: ​ The Highways (Traffic Calming) Regulations 1999 (and a subsequent amendment in 2000) can be found on the HMSO web site on the internet (see - use their site search function), plus also the Highways (Road Humps) Regulations 1999 on the same web site. These regulations specify what traffic calming devices are permitted and where, what public consultation is required, what street signs are required, and in the last case, the maximum dimensions of speed humps. It is important to note that speed humps are therefore expressly permitted by law and therefore if a hump meets the regulations, you are very unlikely to have any case in law against the local authority for any damage or injury caused by them, with a few minor exceptions. ​ Consultation Under these regulations there is an obligation to consult various people about traffic calming schemes. Under the Highways (Traffic Calming) Regulations they must consult the police and "such persons or organisations representing persons who use the highway or who are otherwise likely to be affected by the traffic calming work as the authority thinks fit." Clearly local residents or businesses should therefore be consulted. ​ Similarly, and even more specifically, under the Highways (Road Humps) Regulations the council must consult "in all cases, organisations appearing to them to represent persons who use the highway to which the proposal related, or to represent persons who are otherwise likely to be affected by the road hump". In addition they must consult local fire and ambulance services. Organisations such as the Freedom for Drivers Foundation who represent road users must clearly therefore be consulted. ​ Permitted Traffic Calming Devices These can be almost any features included in a traffic calming scheme such as humps, lighting, paving, grass, pillars, bollards, walls, fences, trees, and many more. ​ Required Street Signs and Lighting There must be “adequate warning of the presence of traffic calming works….” and likewise for speed humps. In the specific case of humps, there must also be adequate street lighting (the regulations spell out the specific requirements here in some detail). ​ Hump Dimensions and Location Speed humps must be at right angles to the carriageway, be at least 900mm long, be less than 100 mm high and more than 25mm high and not have a vertical face exceeding 6 mm. Note that most speed humps in the UK are now constructed at 75 mm height due to grounding on higher ones, and there are other guidelines on their use and such measures as leading and trailing slopes which are given later, but these do not necessarily have the force of law. Road humps may be constructed under Zebra, Pelican and Puffin crossings, if centrally located under them. However, they cannot be placed near bridge supports, or near tunnels or culverts beneath the road. ​ Other Restrictions There are specific regulations on the construction of overrun areas and rumble devices which limit their height, for example. But one interesting point to note is the rule that “No traffic calming work shall be constructed or maintained in a carriageway so as to prevent the passage of any vehicle unless the passage of that vehicle is otherwise lawfully prohibited”. This was probably designed to avoid such measures being used to prohibit heavy goods vehicles for example, without a more specific regulation being invoked, but it may be relevant in other ways if you own a vehicle that has difficulty in negotiating speed humps. ​ Guidelines on Use Another useful source of information are “Traffic Advisory Leaflets” which are published by the DfT on and provide guidance to Local Authority traffic engineers. They include leaflets on traffic calming measures and also reference relevant reports from the Transport Research Laboratory. All such Leaflets can be accessed from the following page: ​ Ones of particular interest in regard to speed humps are "2/96 75mm High Humps", "7/96 Highways (Road Humps) Regulations 1996", "8/96 Road humps and ground-borne vibrations", "1/98 Speed cushion schemes" and "4/94 Speed cushions", "10/00 Road humps: discomfort, noise and ground-borne vibration", "3/91 Speed humps" and "2/05 Traffic Calming Bibliography". The last document provides a summary of where to obtain more information but has not unfortunately been updated lately. These Leaflets give a lot more detailed recommendations on actual design and use of speed humps, and such matters as location, signage and pre-installation consultation. For example, look at “Speed Control Humps TAL 03/91 and “Highways (Road Humps) Regulations 1996 TAL 07/96”. The latter for instance says the following on the subject of consultation: ​ “It is recommended that the consultation process is not limited just to carrying out the statutory duties, but should open up a dialogue with all interested parties to ensure that as far as possible there is a consensus in favour of the scheme. At times it may be necessary for the highway authority to demonstrate their willingness to modify schemes in order to obtain an acceptable compromise.”. Clearly not something that happens in many local authorities! ​ Unfortunately the content of Traffic Advisory Leaflets is only advisory but if there were clear contraventions of the advice therein, then you would probably have grounds for complaining to your local council. A failure to respond satisfactorily could give you evidence for a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman (see ). Any failure to adhere to these recommendations might also help you in any claim for compensation for damage to property or personal injury on the grounds of negligence by the local authority. ​ If you are concerned about signage or road markings for speed humps, another useful source of information is the publication "Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions" which has the force of law - the latest version (at the time of writing in 2017) is present here: ​ . ​ See also: for guidance. ​ Removing humps When the general public demand the removal of humps, you sometimes hear it argued by councillors or council staff that there are legal difficulties in doing so - for example that councillors might be personally liable if accidents subsequently occurred. This is in reality nonsense. The possible legal liabilities and obligations of councillors and local authority staff are fully spelled out in the following document: Councillor-Liabilities ​ Note that the web site addresses mentioned above, particularly the Department for Transport ones, seem to be subject to rapid change so please notify us of any failures in these links so we can correct them in future. Back to Speed Humps Main Page ​ ​

  • SPEED HUMPS VIBRATION AND NOISE | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    SPEED HUMPS VIBRATION AND NOISE The following is an article written by Jeremy Clyne in October 2004: ​ I am one of thousands of Londoners who have the misfortune to live next to a road hump (my home is in Streatham). As I said in written evidence to last year’s Greater London Assembly (GLA) inquiry into road humps, I have been driven to the extreme of hiring monitoring equipment which has recorded vibration four times above the level of acceptability. This shaking is usually accompanied by a loud intrusive crash. ​ GLA Report Missed the Point My findings were recorded in the inquiry report “London’s got the hump” but the report’s authors completely missed the point I was making and referred to my submission in a section about “possible damage” to buildings caused by vibration, whereas I was complaining chiefly about the nuisance caused by vibration. Noise from humps was mentioned in the report but there was no reference to vibration nuisance, and so the issue continues to be ignored by traffic planners and engineers. Vibration from traffic has long been known, at least since 1990, to cause “serious environmental disturbance” but the authorities choose to disregard these effects from road humps. For the past seven years I and other occupants of the building where I live have been subjected to regular intermittent disturbance from the vibration and noise caused in particular by heavy goods vehicles as they bounce off an unusually long (100ft) speed table. My inquiries and limited research lead me to believe that traffic engineers have disregarded the obvious effects on residents and that guidance being given to councils by the Department for Transport is grossly misleading when it comes to the nuisance that these traffic calming devices cause. ​ Vibration Exceeds Acceptable Limits The results from my initial testing are startling, with vibration events regularly breaching the 1millimetre per second level of peak particle velocity at which complaint can be anticipated. I have even recorded events up to 4mm per second, four times above what is termed the “level of acceptability”. ​ The Transport Research Laboratory stated in its 1990 report Traffic Induced Vibrations In Buildings: “it appears that vibrations due to ground-borne traffic vibration may become unacceptable above a level of 1mm/s”. A later paper by Greg Watts, the TRL’s expert on the subject, “Vehicle generated ground-borne vibration alongside speed control cushions and road humps” (Control dynamics and man-made processes, 1998) reaffirms this, referring to “the guide PPV threshold values of 0.3mm, 1, 3 and 19mm/s for perception, complaint, fatigue damage and damage defined in BS 7385 respectively.” ​ Vibration a Common Source of Nuisance The 1990 TRL report, which predates the widespread use of road humps, did not deal with the effects of humps but with traffic vibration generally, in particular from uneven road surfaces. Nevertheless, it was stated clearly that “traffic induced vibration is a common source of nuisance affecting residents…………traffic vibration represents a serious environmental disturbance affecting large numbers of people” . The report also states that “ground-borne vibration is potentially a more severe problem (than airborne vibration) under the worst combination of conditions. This is because ground-borne vibration has been found to produce the greatest motion in floors and walls and to affect the whole building.” ​ Later it is stated “a ground-borne vibration problem is most acute when the building is within a few metres of a significant road surface irregularity such as a poorly backfilled trench or sunken cover”. The effects of traffic passing over a rough surface would, or should, have been apparent to any traffic engineer. Introducing road humps and speed tables with their much greater variation in surface height would have the obvious effect of creating much more significant vibration disturbance to adjacent properties. It has clearly been thought that these considerations were of little import compared with the perceived benefits of reducing speed. ​ Research Has Been Ignored The lessons to be drawn from this research, namely that constructing road humps close to dwellings would cause unacceptable disturbance, have been ignored and road humps have been built everywhere rather than other forms of traffic calming being employed. Later research specifically on vibration from road humps details the “minimum distances between road humps and dwellings to avoid vibration exposure”. Minor damage, it is stated, would only occur if the road hump were nearer than a metre. Separately detailed are the distances recommended to avoid “perception” and “complaint”. ​ It is stated that on London clay a flat top hump (i.e. speed table) should not cause complaint (i.e. vibration above 1mm/s) to residents at a distance above 5 metres. And yet my home is suffering vibration four times above the level of acceptability, as can be seen in the evidence below, and is 6.5 metres away from just such a flat top hump. ​ From my experience and investigations it seems clear that the advice on recommended distances between road humps and residential buildings needs to be reassessed, as it appears that the guidance seriously understates the likelihood of vibration nuisance. ​ Vibration exposure from road humps is the subject of continued inquiry and research, probably because guidance given by official bodies bears little relevance to the reality experienced by those having to live with the problem. The issue is regularly the subject of academic papers. With regard to damage, TRL’s position is that only minor damage can result, and even that under fairly extreme circumstances. It is stated however in their 1990 report: ​ “a small additional stress imposed by traffic vibration might possibly add to a much greater static stress resulting in damage. Such a ‘trigger’ mechanism could perhaps cause premature failure in a building component already weakened by other causes. A more widespread concern is the possibility of fatigue damage occurring as a result of long periods of exposure to low levels of vibration. Buildings close to heavily trafficked roads may be exposed to many thousands of stress cycles each day so that the vibration dose over many years could be considerable.” ​ Cracks Appearing in Home Cracks have appeared in my home but the difficulty is proving they are the result of vibration from the adjacent road hump, particularly when faced with the blanket denials from TRL of such effects. The fact that the property is shaken by heavy traffic can be shown and cannot be denied. And if TRL has got it so badly wrong in assessing vibration nuisance from road humps this puts a big question mark over its assertions about damage from road humps. ​ With regard to the particular problems I have experienced these have of course been reported on numerous occasions to my local authority, but to no avail. ​ Postscript. This report is very similar to numerous other reports subsequently received. Anyone suffering from noise and vibration should complain to their local council that it is a public nuisance that they have a responsibility to deal with under environmental laws. You may need to take legal advice, and get expert reports on the problem before a council will take action however. ​ Back to Speed Humps Main Page

  • SPEED AWARENESS COURSES | Freedom for Drivers Foundatgion

    SPEED AWARENESS COURSES A campaign against the misuse of speed awareness courses (named AMPOW) was created because the actions of the police in offering such "Education Courses" as an alternative to prosecution for speeding and other offences are distorting road safety policy. It is leading to the proliferation of speed cameras and threatened prosecutions because the police now have a direct financial incentive to maximise their activities in this area. This is wrong. ​ There was previously no statutory support for this activity, and it was contrary to the normal principles of English law. In addition, it is a perversion of justice for the police to waive prosecution on the basis of money being paid to them. There is also no hard evidence that putting people through a speed-awareness course has any impact on their subsequent accident record, or behaviour in general. So what we now have is an enormous industry dedicated to raising money to pay course operators, the police and other organisations who benefit from these arrangements. ​ The Government has claimed that the police only recover their "administration" costs but that is not in fact true. They are actually using their proportion of fees paid by course attendees to finance more cameras and more staff to operate them plus to fund other equipment and activities from the surpluses generated. We can provide evidence on this. ​ We asked the Government to put a stop to these arrangements but in 2022 subsequent legislation was enacted that condones and legalises the practice - see the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act. ​ Note that a web site dedicated to the AMPOW campaign was closed down because of the new legislation and because the campaign failed to get widespread support - people generally decided they would prefer to attend a course and avoid points on their licence despite the fact that such attendance is financing the speed camera industry. ​ This document gives a summary of the reasons for the campaign that was published in 2018: Speed-Awareness-Campaign-Summary ​ A blog covering the AMPOW campaign is still present here . ​ Back to Resources

  • WESTERN EXTENSION CAMPAIGN | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    WESTERN EXTENSION CAMPAIGN SCRAPPING THE EXTORTION ZONE CAMPAIGN VICTORY! ​ Mayor Boris Johnson listened to London and scrapped the Congestion Charge Western Extension in December 2010. This was a major victory for the organisations who actively campaigned against this charge such as the West London Residents Association. ​ We recommended you support the removal of the Western Extension of the London Congestion Zone). The reasons were simple: It did not result in any reduction in traffic congestion. It did not provide any environmental benefits whatsoever. Despite forecasts by the previous Mayor of substantial reductions in traffic congestion, these simply did not arise with congestion remaining much as it was. In addition the revenue it raised to subsidise public transport was very small (75% of the fees paid got consumed by operation of the scheme). Neither did measured air quality improve while many businesses were damaged by the scheme. The initial consultation document issued by Transport for London was grossly misleading. It was full of truths and evasions. The scheme clearly did not meet its specified objectives. ​ This page contains details of our campaign to scrap the Western Extension of the London Congestion Charge (or "Tax" as it should be called). The Western Extension of the London Congestion Charge Zone was introduced in February 2007 despite overwhelming public opposition in the previous public consultation exercise. ​ In July 2008, recently elected Mayor Boris Johnson announced that there was to be a fresh consultation on the Western Extension of the London Congestion Charge. This was a promise in his Mayoral election manifesto. This is what he said in a press release issued at that time: ​ “The previous Mayor made the decision to introduce the western extension in the face of overwhelming opposition. Unlike my predecessor, I am going into this with an open mind and this will be a genuine consultation. It is high time that politicians listened to the people whom they represent and I am proud to keep the pledge made during my election campaign to hold a further consultation. Londoners can be assured that, whether they stand for or against, this time their opinions will be respected and we will abide by the results. ​ The western extension is a massive issue for those that live and work in the west of our city and the consultation is likely to elicit strong views. This is not a referendum, so it won't be limited to a 'do you or don't you want to keep it?’ ​ Yes, there will be the option to scrap it, but there will also be other options including keeping it and changing certain aspects of it, like whether it should operate all day. But this will be an opportunity for everyone with experience of the extension to tell me whether they want to see it removed, improved or if they are simply unmoved.” ​ On the 1st September 2008 the consultation was launched. Note that we co-operated with the West London Residents Association on this campaign who were the most active organisers of opposition to the Western Extension for several years. ​ On the 27th November 2008 the Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced that he was planning to scrap the Western Extension of the London Congestion Charge by 2010 after formal public consultation. There was a further consultation on this matter as part of the consultation on the Mayors Transport Strategy in 2010 and a final statutory consultation on it in May 2010 (and on other changes to the Congestion Charge scheme). ​ The Mayor published his final decision on this matter on the 20th October 2010. Back to Congestion Charging


    PARKING AND TRAFFIC OFFENCES Profiting from Parking Local borough councils in London have been using their ability to raise money from parking charges and moving traffic offences to subsidise their budgets - particularly transport programmes including using it to cover the cost of the Freedom Pass. In some cases, they are setting on-street parking charges at a level that is illegal (legally it is very clear that parking charges should not be a “revenue raising” measure). ​ A very extensive report entitled "Profiting from Parking" was published in October 2010. It gives the revenues and costs from parking operations, and from "decriminalised moving traffic offences" for a number of London boroughs. It is contained in this pdf document: Profiting-from-Parking . Obtaining Financial Information on Parking from Your Council You can use this template letter if you wish to obtain the figures on income and expenditure, and the profits that are made, on parking and decriminalised moving traffic offences from your local Council: Parking-Information-Template Controlled Parking Zones and Permit Parking Schemes Many London Boroughs suffer from the inadequate provision of off-street parking facilities. This results in heavy usage of "on-street" parking, which can be an eyesore, can also create safety problems and leads to complaints from local residents that they cannot park outside their own houses, particularly where there are terraced houses with no off-street parking. With typically 2 adults in many households, just local residents can overfill the on-street parking and if the street is anywhere near a transport interchange (such as a railway station), or near shopping facilities, the demand on the parking spaces can exceed the supply. ​ In recent years several schemes have been devised to tackle these problems, particularly the demand by local residents for "reserved" spaces, which are known generically as Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs). There are three common approaches: a - The introduction of parking meters or "pay and display" systems that limit the maximum number of hours or minutes that you can park, thus deterring long-term commuter parking. b - Simple time limits on how long you can park, or the "blocking out" of certain hours (eg. 11.00 to 12.00 am) to deter all day parking. Sometimes these are combined with a "permit parking" scheme so that only permit holders can park in the "blocked" hours. c - A Permit Parking scheme where most of the space is reserved for local residents who have appropriate "permits" which they display. These permits typically have to be paid for (at least so that the administrative costs are recovered but the amount of the fee can also be varied so as to reduce "excessive" demand for permits from local residents). It is also usually possible for residents to buy "tickets" for their visitors which can be used by tradesmen or other people who need to visit them during the day. ​ Sometimes these schemes allow anyone to park for free at certain times but require non-permit holders to "pay and display" at other times as in the example above. They can get very complex to understand! ​ Do these schemes solve all the problems? Typically no - all they do is reserve the limited spaces available for a certain section of the population, instead of it being taken on a first come, first served basis. The FFDF objects to these schemes, particularly Permit Parking Schemes, on the following grounds: ​ Controlled Parking Zones and Permit Parking Schemes are often an attempt to reserve local parking spaces for residents, when they have no particular rights to such space. There is no moral or legal reason why residents should have priority for parking in roads which are public property. Typically, the general public have paid via taxes for the provision of these roads, and they certainly pay for all their maintenance costs, and therefore it seems unreasonable and unfair that a small section of the public should be able to reserve particular road space for their exclusive use. Although, we recognise that residents may have particular difficulty in these areas when they do not have any off street parking (for example because there are terraced houses), most of the residents were fully aware of this situation before they moved into the properties (these problems have been present in London for very many years, while the average residence time for a house in the UK is less than 10 years). These schemes are promoted on the fact that they will resolve parking problems for residents when often they do not (there is no guarantee of sufficient spaces for residents, particularly now that households often own multiple cars). They also mean that residents end up paying for use of spaces which were free before, at considerable cost. They certainly inconvenience non-residents who now may find it impossible to find a parking space within a reasonable distance. This does not just cause a problem for commuters parking near stations. It can also cause difficulties for people making short visits to local facilities such as shops, or simply visiting friends or making business visits (although some schemes only have certain hours blocked out these vary from location to location so unless one knows the area very well it can be difficult to avoid). Unfortunately, the spread of such schemes is often motivated by the same “anti-car” mentality that is exhibited in government and Greater London Authority transport policies in recent years, namely that any measures that make use of private cars more difficult are seen as meritorious. ​ ​​ In many cases, Permit Parking Schemes result in the under utilisation of available parking spaces. The picture above shows this effect in Upper Park Road, Bromley where the permit-controlled spaces are not occupied by permit holders during the day, but nobody else is allowed to use this space. These schemes have a considerable administrative overhead. In fact, the only real financial beneficiaries of the schemes are council staff who are employed to administer them. Typically the employment of people to design, implement, operate and enforce these schemes is a totally unproductive task which simply ends up being a general tax on residents. In the case of areas where commuter parking is a problem, these schemes do not solve the problem - they simply move it a few streets away or to another station area altogether. In the extreme case, they deter people from using rail transport with the end result that people drive all the way, which is surely not a sensible thing to encourage. Permit parking schemes are often sold to residents on the premise that only administrative costs are covered and no profit generated from them, but this is not true. In summary, it would in our view be much better if the time, effort and expense put into these schemes be used to develop appropriate off-street parking to meet the reasonable demands of all existing parking users. ​ Moving Traffic Offences With local Council budgets under severe strain, they have looked at raising money by maximising PCNs being issued. These can be issued for breaches of bus lanes, no entry signs in Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), infringement of yellow box junctions, illegal turns and for a number of other reasons. Many millions of pounds are now being raised by some London Councils in this way, totally unethically, particularly by those Councils who are prejudiced against motor vehicle use. The number of fines issued by the London boroughs and TfL in 2020-2021 are given in this document: Annual-PCN-Stats . There is more information on this abusive practice in this blog post: PCNs-Blog-Post Back to Resources ​

  • COMMENTS MAYOR'S TRANSPORT STRATEGY | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    COMMENTS ON THE MAYOR'S TRANSPORT STRATEGY The following are just a few of the comments received, edited for brevity, and anonymised - most of the comments received were very lengthy: "I wish to object to: Any measures that reallocate road space away from cars, street closures on a flimsy excuse, the utter rubbish that streets are for people not cars although people use cars, the concept that the Mayor can decide if my journey is essential or not, the absurd suggestion that using my car is less efficient than other forms of transport. The MTS appears to stand for "Motorists Should Suffer"…. C.B. "We are effectively asked to provide a blank cheque to the Mayor, who doesn't even give an idea of the cost. I object to reallocating road space away from cars - it makes congestion worse, and unnecessary large population increases which can only add to pressure on road space"…..K.S. "I live in an area where you can park and travel with moderate ease. We will now be handing over money to travel in our own vehicle, dictated to like a communist state. It is going to be more costly to live in London and an even more stressful place to live."…. L.H. "They are drastic and draconian proposals that could be very expensive for Londoners and visitors to London. No costing seems to have been done. These are the kind of proposals one would read on a Facebook page. Sadiq Khan promised to be a Mayor for all Londoners but you would find the prejudice against drivers unacceptable if directed against any other minority, be it religious or ethnic, age or gender. An example of this prejudice is the claim that any amount of walking to a bus stop or station, however short, can be an important part of staying healthy. Many drivers use their cars as part of an active lifestyle, but instead you [the Mayor] jeer about health problems due to an overdependence on cars."….K.F. "People sometimes have time constraints and occasionally it may be quicker to drive than to use public transport, particularly in the evenings. As a woman I feel safer driving in the evenings or in the night, so reducing parking spaces may contribute to endangering my safety"…..M.F. "I object most strongly to all the proposals to tax or discourage car use in the Mayor's Transport Strategy, and in particular the idea of extending the Congestion Charge. This was not spelled out in his manifesto and if it had been he would not have got my vote"…..Z.R. "He [Sadiq Khan] said he would be a Mayor for all Londoners but he is turning out to be a Mayor for a minority of flat earthers who are prejudiced against motorists. He spouts the nonsense that streets are for people not cars."…..E.T. "We have to visit London to attend hospital visits with one of our children, who requires ongoing specialist medical care. Imposition of this new policy would cause hardship and make our visits much more difficult and expensive. We own a modern petrol car that is not only highly efficient but also compliant to the latest EU emissions legislation. We therefore consider it unacceptable that we will be caught in this heinous new legislation, which simply brings out the worst of the left wing Labour ideologies" …. M.L. "I am a licensed taxi driver of 40 years standing and I wish to object to the Mayor's Transport Strategy. The improvements proposed and also implemented over the last few years are simply not working! Congestion and pollution in London has been compounded by road closures, cycle lanes and narrowing of already limited road space and it is now time to say enough - a city is a city and if it prospers it is going to generate traffic. TfL should be managing this problem, not stifling it with ridiculous schemes that really benefit no one…"…B.B. "I completely disagree on the proposal to increase the congestion charge zone to the North and South Circular. Unlike the centre of London, there are thousands of low income families and small businesses that rely on the roads on a daily basis". ….G.N. "I drive a car in London because it costs me less than taxis, and tube stops are too sparse and frankly ugly to make it realistic where I live and work. I do not wish to have to walk looking smart and wearing high heels - required for work - 10 to 15 minutes in the cold and dark to a tube stop and wait for an overcrowded expensive and complicated tube system that is unreliable. My car will take me from and to my destination directly. Your solution to London's traffic and pollution problems seems to be to penalise car drivers. Why don't you try a carrot, make public transport a viable option that is actually pleasant and affordable to take?"…..C.B. "I have been alarmed to learn of the Mayor's draconian proposals clearly designed to limit, and vastly increase the cost of using private motor vehicles in London. His draft strategy paper is full of sweeping statements, many unsupported and/or uncosted, as to the perceived benefits to be derived from the proposals. No viable alternatives are put forward to replace the myriad of journeys (and the reasons for them) currently made by the private motorists in the London area. The document smacks of the utopian desire for central control so beloved of his political allies and so redolent of Orwell's 1984"…..K.B. "I live and work in one borough of London and my 85 year old mother lives in another. I am her sole carer and would not be able to do this if I had to pay a congestion charge."…H.M. "Yet again the motorist is being targeted as a cash cow. I live in the London Borough of Lewisham and it's quite clear when there is no other available means of transport, particularly for night shift workers, we are forced to use our cars. With 2 cars we pay £240 a year just to park outside our own houses"…….P.S. "All the previous Mayors have done is to make London's roads more dangerous, create extra congestion and therefore extra pollution with their spiteful anti-motorist policies. First we have Livingstone with his fiddling around with the traffic light phasing and his ridiculous bendy buses; then we had BJ with the equally ridiculous cycle lanes. Now we have Khan determined to finish the job started by the two other cretins by cashing in on a deliberately gridlocked over polluted capital city. Stationary traffic causes pollution, the various Mayors and TfL have caused the stationary traffic."….D.W. "As a handicapped driver I depend on my car and already have had problems with parking. Any extension of parking restrictions directly affects my life". ….R.V. "I object to all the proposals to tax or discourage car use in the Mayor's Transport Strategy, particularly the idea of extending the Congestion Charge. It is just a money grabbing ploy and will do nothing to achieve its proposed aim". …B.K. "Why are the penalties always monetary, so that it's the least well off who suffer the most? For example, the permit parking system mostly affects people who can't afford larger properties on which they can use off-road parking."… C.C. "A constant theme is penalising honest, caring citizens who have little choice but to drive in London. Not everyone can cycle or use public transport for every journey. The TfL Congestion Charge has been one of the biggest cons committed by local government anywhere and should not be extended. Obviously, it doesn't work because we still have congested roads in central London, despite routine increases in the charge. The answer to "congestion" is to make better use of the finite resources of available space. Anyone who has witnessed the effect of the absurd "cycle superhighways" on pedestrians, bus users, taxi services and motorists in the capital can see that a majority of the travelling public now sit or stand stationary far longer than before."…..J.B. I'm particularly disgusted by hints that station parking and drop-off may be reduced. This is petty, discriminatory, self-defeating, and incredibly damaging to people's quality of life. It can only force people off public transport."….P.S. "Not everyone can or wants to ride bikes on public highways in all weathers. Our business relies on getting products and installers around London to carry out our work. We employ over 60 staff who use all forms of transport depending on their commute to get into work. Some of those will struggle if they have to pay a congestion charge and will probably have to leave our employment"….V.M. "I live in Chelsea and use my car for travelling out of London and I use London transport around town. The idea I could be targeted for just owning a car is appalling and it is a quite disgraceful change of stance from Mayor Khan after he was elected with promises to maintain the congestion charge at current levels. I find this move is dishonest."….K.O. "I strongly oppose ALL of these measures. Living in outer London I need to use my car often as public transport takes too long if it necessitates two buses, meaning I would not be able to visit family, go to the park to exercise, etc, and I would be stuck in my flat, seeing nobody for days at a time (I am 74 and widowed). If possible I do use buses or trains but cannot afford an increase in road tax/parking charge"…T.B. "I object to all the proposals to tax or discourage car use in the Mayor's Transport Strategy, particularly the idea of extending the Congestion Charge. I have a severely disabled 6 year old daughter and drive a wheelchair accessible vehicle which I heavily rely on for hospital appointments and transporting my daughter to school. We could not function as a family without it."….S.D. "I am appalled to read your pamphlet on what the Mayor of London is proposing. Yes, I am a driver but only on local roads. I have limited mobility and have a blue badge which is of enormous help to me. I do have a bus pass which I cannot use as I would not be able to balance correctly once the bus moves off so I use my car. Drivers pay enough in road tax and congestion charges already without being told to pay more."…..M.M. "My objection is to the whole idea of taking even more money from the long- suffering motorist. I also have a personal objection. My wife and I are in our mid-eighties, and my wife is also disabled. As pensioners, we are not on a huge income. My wife is unable to get on or off buses, and train journeys are far from easy or comfortable for us. The car is our life-line, and punitive regulation and legislation pose an ever increasing threat to our way of life in our last years"….. J.B. “I operate a small fleet of minibuses. I personally have witnessed the 'notorious work' of TfL in bringing roads in the area to a near standstill since the organisation began managing the roads. The misuse of tax payers money for their dogmatic ill thought out road infrastructure schemes, 'so called traffic management' in the area, is legendary (ask local people). The arrogance of the way they operate is shameful. If we wanted an organisation to waste tax payers money, mismanage the traffic in Greater London to the point of causing daily frustration and delays sometimes to gridlock, then we should be given the opportunity to vote for it or not (by that I refer to the organisation itself - TfL) and not have it imposed upon us, in a totalitarian regime like manner.”…P.Y. “My comment is :- Has the Mayor ordered his straight jacket yet and is he booked into a secure Mental Unit for treatment? How will I take my two therapy dogs to visit hospitals, care home and schools as the bus companies do not allow me on buses, except at the drivers discretion? Has the idiot forgotten that his party was against congestion charges, now he wants to increase them what a hypocrite”….J.R. “This is a clear example of misplaced action to raise money from cash strapped middle class. The rich with expensive cars will have no issues as they will still be able to afford all this and probably won't care. It's the middle class that will pay the price. The normal car owners are already footing the bill for those who can afford to buy expensive electric hybrid vehicles. These better off people get better parking, low road tax, free charging zone and what not. Instead of fixing the shambolic, congested, over priced and limited public transport they are hammering car users. They need to make the public transport so good and cost effective that people automatically start switching.”…..Y.C. “I think the Mayor is trying to take away our freedom to travel. He does not seem to have any common sense.”…R.S. “The 24/7 nature of the ULEZ change will penalise those who are least able to trade in their current vehicles (particularly those diesels that politicians encouraged us to buy to reduce CO2 emissions) to buy newer, compliant vehicles. While reducing peak hour emissions is laudable, the blanket approach seems draconian and inappropriate. I hope that the Mayor of London will consider all the implications to the community and introduce changes that don't penalise honest, law abiding residents.”….R.B. “Sadiq Khan’s policies for London are bad. His transport strategy is one of the worst in the world. He should be fired and replaced with someone who cares about all the people of London, not just his chosen minorities.”….T.B. “I write this email to express my support for your campaign to prevent these ludicrous changes from becoming effective. As a mobility driver, I'm afraid public transport is simply not an option for me as it is structured today. I am reliant on my vehicle for work and socialising and I must find suitable parking spaces. These plans seem like they will remove more parking spaces for people like myself. I have friends who I like to visit and I'm able to do so if I can drive to see them and conveniently park.”…..G.M. “The Mayor does not realise how people try to live today especially the elderly and those who try to live a reasonable life being disabled or who have difficulty in moving. I still have a blue badge and thankful for it. Leave our cars alone and maybe try to live a disabled person's life for a week, instead of jaunting to India for WHAT?.”…..S.W. “I am 68 years old, I worked and paid tax and insurance all my life. I now have heart failure, asthma and spinal stenosis. My disabilities make it extremely difficult to walk to the station or to a bus stop. I entirely rely on my car. It will be so cruel to have further restriction on my mobility. Old people with multiple chronic illnesses and mobility problems are already at high risk for depression and can do with no further top up.”….N.C. “I am strongly opposed to the Mayor's transport strategy for the following reasons: 1) In order to improve air quality and consequently our health, we had the congestion charge imposed on us (and subsequently increased by Sadiq Khan). With the stroke of a pen, 40,000 Uber drivers were given a license to operate in central London, adding massively to traffic congestion and air pollution. This is outrageous, and if Sadiq Khan was in the least bit interested in air quality, he would be doing everything in his power to prevent Uber from operating. Please ask him why he isn't doing anything; 2) Plumbers, electricians, gas engineers etc. are all needed by businesses in central London - ladders and heavy equipment cannot be carried on public transport. The congestion charge and lack of parking are really hitting these essential workers very hard; 3) Sadiq Khan is also planning to extend the low emissions zone out as far as my own area (Haringey). I am disabled and my car is my lifeline to the outside world. However, it is a very old vehicle and I cannot afford to replace it with a newer version. I will no doubt be charged to use it; 4) It seems fairly obvious to me that Sadiq Khan is only interested in revenue, and has no concern for the general public whatsoever. I am tired of his grandstanding.”….M.H. Back to MTS Campaign Page ​ ​ ​

  • CONGESTION CHARGING | Freedom for Drivers Foundation

    CONGESTION CHARGING This page of our web site provides information on the London Congestion Charge system, and demonstrates how ineffective it has been in reducing congestion. In practice it has just become an enormously expensive way to raise tax to fund Transport for London and the Mayor’s other programmes. ​ The map below (source: TfL) shows the current limits of the London Congestion Charge scheme (as at July 2017). This scheme was installed in 2002 to the City and West End with a Western Extension into Kensington and Chelsea introduced in 2007 despite overwhelming public opposition in the previous public consultation exercise. There is a charge per day for driving anywhere within the zone boundary. This was originally set at £5 per day but rose to £10 at the end of 2010, when the Western Extension was scrapped. It was raised to £11.50 per day from June 2014, and to £15 from June 2020 plus extended to 24 hours per day every day. The original justification for the charge was that it would solve London's perennial road traffic congestion (environmental benefits were not an argument used because it was known they would be minimal). But it did not solve the congestion problem with that soon returning to the same level as before and subsequently becoming a lot worse. The environmental claims made by some have also been shown to be false with air pollution within the zone basically unchanged as a result. Neither does it raise any significant funds for public transport improvements because almost all the revenue from the scheme goes in operating costs. Indeed if it was not for the accidental fines people collect from forgetting to pay the charge, it would lose money. Note that the Congestion Charge was introduced by socialist car-hating Mayor Ken Livingstone. It has impacted the poor more heavily than the wealthy and hence is a very regressive tax. His final parting shot before being ejected from office by the electorate was to sign up London for a multi-year contract with the operators which was too expensive to cancel. Congestion Charging and Road Pricing The following articles have been published on Congestion Charging (particularly the London Congestion Charge or "Tax") and on road usage charging (note: TfL have stopped publishing Annual Monitoring Reports for the Congestion Charge but reports up until the sixth one are still available): ​ This article was written on the London Congestion Charge after publication of the 5th Annual Monitoring Report: Congestion_Charge_Report_2007 ​ The following article is a report by Roger Lawson on a debate on road pricing held in Cambridge in May 2008: Debate_on_Road_Pricing ​ After publication of the Sixth Annual Monitoring Report on the London Congestion Charge by TfL in August 2008 it was clear that congestion was back to where it was before the charge was introduced, with the Western Extension also providing no benefits at all since it was introduced. ​ Note that the campaign against a proposed Congestion Charge in Greenwich (which took place mainly in 2007) is covered on this web page: Greenwich ​ In January 2017 the London Assembly Transport Committee published a report on the congestion in London with some recommendations for action. That follows severely worsening congestion in recent years with more private hire vehicles, more LGVs delivering internet orders, and the general increase in the population and business in London. A summary of their recommendations and some comments on them are present in this blog post: Congestion-Report . ​ In July 2018, TfL published proposals to include PHVs in the Congestion Charge and remove some of the exemptions for low emission vehicles. This blog post explained the changes and how TfL deliberately lies about the benefits of the Congestion Charge: PHVs-Now-Included . Remember it’s all about money, not about reducing congestion! ​ The increase to £15 per day in June 2020 was necessary to fix the major deficit in the finances of TfL due to the financial incompetence of the Mayor and the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on TfL public transport revenue. The private motorist and goods vehicle owners are now having to bail out public transport - an unjustified attack on your choice of transport mode and a tax on goods deliveries. ​ In December 2021 the Mayor announced further changes to the Congestion Charge effectively making the temporary increase to £15 permanent but cutting the hours slightly. See this blog post for more details: Higher-Congestion-Charge ​ Back to Resources

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