Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum by the AA (TYP 27A)


  In his evidence, John Dawson said that less than 10 per cent of benefits from the London Congestion Charging Scheme flowed to public transport users. The AA has been pressing Transport for London (TfL) for usable information on what benefits it estimates ensue from the scheme, and the following figures are quoted from a letter dated 18 December 2001, to the AA from TfL. These figures state that, of a total estimated economic and social benefit of £140 million to £220 million, bus occupants would only benefit by £10 million to £20 million. It is clear that TfL estimates the main beneficiaries as car and taxi occupants on employers' business (£40 million to £60 million) and goods vehicles (£20 million to £40 million).

  The figures given to us are as follows:

Car and taxi occupants on employers' business
£40 million to £60 million
Goods vehicles
£20 million to £40 million
Bus occupants
£10 million to £20 million
"Other" road users
£30 million to £50 million
   Sub total
£100 million to £170 million
Journey time reliability
£30 million to £40 million
Accident savings
£10 million to £20 million
£140 million to £230 million

  There is little dispute that these estimates are not robust, but the projected benefits to bus occupants are clearly so small that equivalent benefits could easily be delivered through a handful of minor targeted improvements without all the cost, inconvenience and risk of congestion charging. TfL has not made the case for congestion charging, nor shown that the scheme is workable. The AA also believes that a scheme of this sort, which projects astonishing penalty income of some £80 million, needs an assessment of the full (social) costs of introducing offences where none previously existed.

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