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Congestion in the South East

Good Essays
Congestion in the South East

The problem of congestion in South East, particularly London, is a

great

one. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries increased car

use

was seen as part of growing economic progress, but now we aware of the

negative externalities caused by it, congestion and pollution,

something

must be done to restrict road use.

Congestion in London is a massive problem. It causes unsightly

gridlocked

roads, difficulties in travelling around, and causes businesses to use

extra

vehicles to be able to carry out their work efficiently, thus adding

to the

problem further. To tackle this problem, there are two methods of

restricting car use in London. One is using direct

controls/interventions,

e.g. yellow lines, full pedestrianisation, traffic wardens etc. The

other

is the use of the price mechanism, e.g. road pricing, taxes, public

transport subsidies etc.

The fundamental difference between the two methods is that whereas a

direct

control bans use of a good/service, the price mechanism will restrict

its

use by making its users pay the full social cost for it. Relating this

idea

to road use, this can be an advantage of using a direct control. To

ban

cars from parts of the South East (i.e. pedestrianisation or perhaps

use of

double yellow or red lines) would be certain to work, whereas making

people

pay to use their cars would not, and its effectiveness would depend on

the

price elasticity of demand of car use. Another advantage of using a

direct

control is that if you did not wish to ban the use of cars altogether

you

could at least accurately limit ...

... middle of paper ...

...targeted and

distinguishes

(unlike road tax) between those who use Central London's roads at

rush-hour

and those who drive through the countryside at night. This would

create

revenue that could be redirected into improving public transport. This

system would also be more likely to create equity. What this means is

that

road users would pay for the negative externalities which they

themselves

create, whereas an increased petrol tax charges all drivers

regardless.

However, this is one disadvantage of using the price mechanism - no

matter

what price, or type of price is imposed, the poor are always going to

be hit

harder than the rich. A £5 fee for using London's roads will be a

significant amount for those on benefits, less so for BMW driving

Company

Executives.

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