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DETAILED ASSESSMENT LONDON CONGESTION CHARGING

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DETAILED ASSESSMENT LONDON CONGESTION CHARGING

    AEAT/ED51095 - final report Issue 1

DETAILED ASSESSMENT LONDON CONGESTION CHARGING

    Description of the initial objectives of the measure

    Congestion charging schemes aim to reduce vehicle use by charging users to pay for entering or travelling in a particular zone, or for using a particular stretch of road. There are many examples of road user charging schemes in operation across Europe on highways, where drivers pay by cash or token for using the bridge or tunnel as they pass through a toll plaza. However, these do not address urban air quality hot spots, and so are not considered further here.

    This section considers the use of charging systems in major urban areas. In such areas, toll plazas are not used, because they delay traffic flow. Instead, a number of targeted schemes have been implemented. The first example of such a scheme was introduced in Singapore in 1975, which was initially based on a paper licence system (subsequently replaced by and electronic system in 1988). However, the most far-reaching scheme is the road user-charging scheme in operation in London the London Congestion Charging Scheme LCCS).

    The London Congestion Charge came into effect in February 2003. The Charging zone covers an area bounded by the London inner ring road, and drivers of non-exempt vehicles must pay a charge of ?5 per day (approximately 7.5 Euros) to enter and travel within this zone. The scheme is enforced by a network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras that monitor all vehicles entering and circulating within the zone. The number plates of vehicles are read and stored on a database. At the end of each 24-hour period, the vehicle registration data held in this database is crosschecked against vehicle registration data collected from those drivers known to have paid to enter the charging zone. Drivers found to be evading payment are issues with a Penalty Charge Notice.

    The congestion charging zone is 21 square kilometres in size; representing 1.3% of the total 1579 sq km of Greater London. Note, while the area is large for existing congestion charging schemes, it is still small in relation to London, see figure below.

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    Central London Congestion Charging Scheme

    North South Circular

    The Greater London boundary

    The M25

Figure 1 London Congestion Charging Scheme in Relation to London

    Background information on London traffic numbers and emissions

    A very large number of vehicles operate in (Greater) London during the course of any single year. While there is good data on London traffic flows, there is unfortunately no robust information on the numbers of vehicles operating in London. The estimated number of vehicles travelling in Greater London each year is shown in below. The number of vehicles is high, as it includes vehicles that only come into the city once a year, as well as vehicles that enter frequently. The estimates indicate that at least 14%, and probably more likely, around 36% of the British lorry fleet come into London each year. A higher proportion of coaches, possibly as many as half of all British vehicles, also operate in London during the course of a year. Finally, an estimated 14 - 18% of all British vans travel in London at some point during any year.

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    4, 900, 000

    3, 700, 000

    437, 000

    339, 000

    155, 000

    60, 00030, 00020, 50010, 0006,100

    LorriesVansCoachesTfL busesTaxisPrivate hireCars

Figure 2 Total Number of Vehicles Operating in Greater London each year (2002).

    Source: Watkiss et al, 2003. The values for lorries, vans and cars show a low and high range. Values for other vehicles are

    presented as a central estimate only. The scale is linear for all vehicles except cars, the numbers of which far exceed other

    categories (denoted by parallel lines). The number of vehicles in future years will be higher due to fleet growth. Most taxis, buses and coaches are active in central London. The numbers of other vehicles entering the central area of London is much lower, as a % of vehicles entering London. An estimate was made of the numbers of the national fleet operating in London, and the congestion charging area, prior to the introduction of the congestion charge Table 1 Nationally Registered Fleet and Vehicles operating in London (Numbers), Prior to Introduction of Congestion Charge.

     National Central London* Inner London Greater London

    Articulated lorries (low) 114,451 2,150 5,518 16,032

    % of Nat. Fleet 2% 5% 14%

    Articulated lorries (high) 114,451 5,051 17,867 39,316

    % of Nat. Fleet 4% 16% 34%

    Rigid lorries (low) 310,977 19,050 30,047 44,026

    % of Nat. Fleet 6% 10% 14%

    Rigid lorries (high) 310,977 44,756 98,285 115,227

    % of Nat. Fleet 14% 32% 37%

    Coach * 20,000 7,502 10,538 9,959

    % of Nat. Fleet 38% 53% 50%

    Vans (low) 2,469,445 164,423 197,426 338,796

    % of Nat. Fleet 7% 8 14%

    Vans (high) 2,469,445 139,751 355,027 437,447

    % of Nat. Fleet 6% 14% 18%

    Cars (low) 23,196,112 3,674,815

    % of Nat. Fleet 16%

    Cars (high) 23,196,112 4,897,863

    % of Nat. Fleet 21%

    *Area of the congestion charge

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    Road transport is the single most important source of emissions in London, as seen in the Figure below.

Figure 3 The Current Contribution of Road Transport to Air Pollution in London.

    Based on 1999 data. Source: Watkiss et al, 2003.

    It is also useful to look at the total contribution of different vehicles to road transport emissions in London. The estimated the contribution from different vehicles to future road transport emissions in London for the years 2005 to 2010 is shown below.

Figure 4 Emissions from Vehicles in London (as % of Total Road Transport Emissions).

    Source: Watkiss et al, 2003.

    Overall, transport emissions from central London are small in relation to the Greater London area (see below). There is also a different pattern of vehicles for different areas of London than shown in the figure above. Buses and licensed taxis are much more significant sources of emissions in central London, whilst car and lorry emissions are lower (as a %).

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    Transport Emissions in London in 2005 by Area.

    Central Central

    4%5%InnerInner

    OuterOuter

    25%26%

    69%71%

     NOX PM10

    Note the central area represents the area of the congestion charge.

    Analysis of costs and benefits

    Ex-Ante Environmental Impacts (Emissions and Air Quality)

    As part of the work carried out in the London Congestion Charging Research programme (MVA, 1995), an assessment was of the potential effect of a charge on CO and CO 2

    emissions in Central London (the are that the charge covers). The study estimated a47% and 21% reduction respectively, associated with a 22% reduction in vehicle kilometres in the zone: no estimates were made for the effects on NO and PM. Estimates were also x10

    provided for the Inner London area (which includes an area extending beyond the zone itself up to the north south circular see map above). The study indicated that for a 3%

    reduction in vehicle kilometres, there would be a 7% reduction in NO. x

    Subsequent studies, including the ROCOL report (Halcrow, 2000) and the Greater London Congestion Charging Order report to the Mayor (GLA, 2002), did not examine the emissions and air quality benefits of a charging zone at all. As stated in the Congestion Charging Report to the Mayor,

     “the environmental benefits of the scheme in terms of improved air quality, pedestrian amenity, or reduced traffic noise are expected to be small and have not been examined further…”.

    The ROCOL study also acknowledged that the air quality benefits from fewer private cars might be offset by increases in numbers of heavier vehicles.

    Ex-Post Environmental Impacts (Emissions and Air Quality)

    A number of ex post studies are now available on the congestion charging scheme. We have based most of the analysis on the Impacts Monitoring Second Annual Report (TfL 2004). This is the second in a series of annual reports describing the impacts of congestion

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    charging in and around central London. It supersedes and extends the previous material published by Transport for London (TfL), in June and October 2003, and in February 2004. The ex post analysis in the report has estimated that by reducing the volumes of traffic in

     and PM from the zone, congestion charging has led to a reduction of 12% in both NOX10

    road traffic in the central area of London. There have been some changes in the emissions on the inner Ring Road, but these are estimated at less than 2%.

    These benefits arise because there are reduced volumes of traffic, and the traffic is moving faster (this is important because emissions are higher, per km, at very low vehicle speeds). The ex post analysis estimates that between 2002 (pre-charging) and 2003 (post charging), primary emissions of NO from road transport in the central zone of London fell from 810 X

    to 680 tonnes/year (16% reduction). 75% of this is estimated to be due to congestion charging. It also estimates that primary PM emissions from road transport in the central 10

    zone have fallen from 47 to 40 tonnes/year (16%) and that again, 75% of this is due to congestion charging (the rest due to changes in the vehicle fleet).

    The Impacts Report has also assessed the potential benefits to air quality concentrations, as estimated by models and monitored. This comparison is difficult, because of the large number of variables that determine pollution concentrations, and because 2003 was an exceptional year for PM. 10

    Health Indicators (Exposure, Mortality And Morbidity)

    No quantified estimates exist of the ex ante health benefits of the scheme. Similarly, there are no plans to measure direct health benefits arising from the scheme ex post, and none are reported in the Impacts Monitoring Second Annual Report.

    Other Relevant Indicators

    The primary aim of the scheme is not air quality benefits. The congestion charging scheme has four transport priorities:

    ; To reduce congestion;

    ; To improve bus services (through revenues generated);

    ; To improve journey time reliability for car users;

    ; To make the distribution of goods and services more efficient.

    The most relevant indicator for the scheme is traffic congestion. The benefits from the above four priorities are much more important in relation to the overall benefits from the scheme (and wider urban sustainability objectives).

    Since the implementation of the CCS, TfL has published reports presenting the effects that

    the scheme has had on actual traffic flows and congestion levels both within the charging zone and on the inner ring road. The following tables present some of the findings from these reports. The original report showed baseline traffic data for 2002 (before the scheme was implemented) and ex-post data for 2003.

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    Table 2 Average traffic flows within the charging zone before and after implementation of the CCS Vehicles entering charging zone Average CarsTaxisVansPedal Motor Bus and HGVs and TOTAL (7.00 am to 6.30 pm)speedcyclescyclescoachother(excluding cycles)May 2002 - actual traffic flows 13 km/h390,000110,000110,00025,00050,00027,00035,000722,000(before CCS implemented) (A)

    Forecast traffic flows for 2003 if N/A391,873110,528110,52825,12050,24027,13035,168725,467CCS had not been implemented (B)

    Feb/March 2003 - actual traffic 17 km/h240,000120,000100,00027,00055,00029,00032,000576,000flows (after CCS implemented) (C)

    Change in traffic flow due to CCS 4 km/h-151,8739,472-10,5281,8804,7601,870-3,168-149,467(C - B)

    Percentage change31%-39%9%-10%8%10%7%-9%-21%

     Source: Central London Congestion Charging Scheme 3 months on (except Estimate of traffic growth for 2003 if CCS

    had not been implemented calculated using TEMPRO traffic growth factors for the London Boroughs in which the CCS operates)

    The data shows that on average there has been a reduction in traffic flows of 21% within the charging zone since the congestion charging scheme came into operation at the beginning of 2003. This percentage reduction is as a proportion of the estimated traffic flows for 2003 if the scheme had not come into operation.

    Analysis of the traffic flow data for the inner ring road shows that there has been a 4% increase in traffic flows between 6.00 am and 8.00 pm since the CCS was introduced, shown in Table 3.

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    Table 3 Average traffic flows on the Inner Ring Road before and after implementation of the CCS

    Weekday average traffic flows (all vehicles)

    Date6.00 am -7.00 7.00 am -10.00 am-1.00 pm - 4.00 pm - 6.30pm - TOTAL

    am10.00 am1.00 pm4.00 pm6.30 pm8.00pm(6.00 am -

    8.00 pm)

    7,50034,00034,00035,10032,50018,5002002 average (measured 161,600

    data) (A)

    7,53634,16334,16335,26932,65618,5892003 forecast if CCS had 162,376

    not been implemented (B)

    8,38637,45435,40736,47132,45718,957Average flows for Feb-May 169,132

    2003 (measured data) (C)

    8503,2901,2441,203-199368Change in traffic flow due 6,756

    to CCS (C-B)

    11%10%4%3%-1%2%% change in traffic flow 4%

    due to CCS

     Source: Central London Congestion Charging Scheme 3 months on (except Estimate of traffic growth for 2003 if CCS

    had not been implemented calculated using TEMPRO traffic growth factors for the London Boroughs in which the CCS operates)

    The information on the scheme has recently been updated in the Impacts Monitoring Second Annual Report. This shows that congestion within the charging zone has reduced by 30% and the volume of traffic circulating in the zone during charging hours has reduced by 15% (excluding two-wheeled vehicles), and the traffic entering the zone has reduced by 18% (during charging hours). The report states that these reductions are at the top end of the ex ante predictions, for example, the reduction in volume of traffic predicted ranged from 20 to 30%. The ex post analysis also finds that the proportion of time that drivers spend stationary or moving slowly in queues has reduced by up to one third. There is no evidence of systematic increases in traffic outside the zone.

    The report also assesses the journey timesavings from the scheme. Panel surveys have shown that journey timesavings average 14%, with an increase in reliability of journey times increasing (27% for outward journeys, 34% for return journeys). On a typical trip of 80 minutes, on average, this could mean travel timesavings of about 10 minutes. Finally, public transport is successfully accommodating displaced car users. Of the 65000 to 70000 car trips that are no longer made to the zone during charging hours, 50-60% have transferred to public transport, 20-30% divert around the zone, and 15-25% have made other adaptations, such as changing the timing of trips.

    A number of other indicators are relevant. These are discussed in later sections. Analysis of ex-ante and ex post costs of the Congestion Charging Scheme A number of studies were carried out to assess the potential costs of introducing and operating a charging scheme in London. In 1995, the MVA Consultancy was commissioned by the Government Office for London‟s Planning and Transport Directorate to carry out

    the London Congestion Charging Research Programme

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    In 2000, a further study entitled “Road Charging Options for London: a Technical Assessment” (commonly known as the ROCOL study) was carried out by a team of

    consultants led by Halcrow Fox. As part of the assessment, estimates of the set-up and annual operational costs were provided.

    As part of TfL‟s study into the Congestion Charging Scheme in 2002, the scheme‟s start-up

    and operating costs were estimated over a ten-year time period the assumption being that

    the scheme would remain in operation from February 2003 until February 2013. The cost estimates from all of these studies are presented below. It can be seen from the table that the start-up costs estimated in 1995 as part of the London Congestion Charge Research Programme are much greater than in the subsequent studies. This is because this study assumed that requiring all vehicles that travel into London to be fitted with electronic in-vehicle transponder units would enforce the scheme. Subsequent studies showed that whilst this would be the most effective way of enforcing the scheme, the time it would have taken to develop and procure suitable units would have meant that the scheme could not have become operational during the first term of office of the Mayor. Consequently, a simpler enforcement mechanism using camera technology was chosen. The ROCOL report and the TfL study for the Mayor both provide costs based on using ANPR camera technology to enforce the scheme.

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    Table 4 Ex-ante costs associated with implementing a Congestion Charging Scheme in London StudyCostsCosts at time of Costs in 2003 prices

    scheme assessment

    Ex-ante costs

    Start-up costs?5 million to ?45 ?16 million to ?78 London Congestion

    millionmillioncharging Research

    Programme (1995)Annual operating costs?5 million to ?0 ?7 million to ?3

    millionmillion

    Annual revenues from scheme (revenues

    given negative sign)

    Start-up costs?0 to ?0 million?3 million to ?5 ROCOL report

    million(1999/2000)

    Annual operating costs?0 to ?0 million?3 million to ?5

    million

    Annual revenues from scheme (revenues -?60 million to --286 million to -?53

    given negative sign)?20 millionmillion

    Start-up costs?5 millionCongestion Charging

    Order: Report to the

    Mayor (2001/2)Operating and management costs (over ?16 million

    ten years)

    Traffic management costs (over ten years)?0 million

    Additional public transport costs (over ten ?76 million

    years)

    Scheme compliance costs to road users ?00 million

    (over ten years)

    N/AEx-post costs

     Capital costsUnknown as yetUnknown as yet

     Operating and Maintenance costsUnknown as yetUnknown as yet

    A detailed report in the actual ex post costs of the scheme has not been produced. However, some ex post cost data are available in the Impacts Monitoring Second Annual Report. This was presented as the following analysis of the costs and benefits of the scheme (Table 5). Note the values do not include the annualised cost of capital (the ANPR camera system), which are known to have been significant. These would need to be added to the annual costs below to properly assess the cost-benefit analysis of the scheme. Including these would reduce the net annual benefits of the scheme.

    Table 5 Preliminary Estimates of Quantifiable Costs and Benefits of the Central London Congestion Charging Scheme

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