The idea was originally mooted by John Prescott a year or so after New Labour gained power, but the outcry meant that the proposal was put aside.
It's bad enough that the staff at our local hospitals have to pay to park (it's taken out of their wages), particularly those who don't have suitable public transport or work outside the hours when such transport is running.
With businesses struggling in a recession now is a good time to burden them further with another form of tax :0(
Nottingham has always been at the forefront of traffic control methods : First red light camera in UK First UK council to use digital cameras on city roads and now first UK council to apply parking space tax.
Welcome to Nottingham!!! Please drive carefully (preferably not at all).
I drive in London pretty well every day, and have done so for many years. I noticed a big difference when the charge was introduced, and within three years the number of cars entering the zone each day had fallen by 20%. The number of buses had increased by 25% however, so the net gain in terms of vehicles on the roads was lower.
Unfortunately the benefits in terms of traffic congestion haven't been wholly sustained, and at the end of 2007 congestion was back to its pre-charging levels. Car ownership has risen during the five years that the charge has been in force, and I tend to agree with fourm member's comment that without a charge the congestion would be much worse.
Everyone who regularly drives in London (and other big cities I imagine) will be revelling in the current school holiday drop in traffic volumes. At the moment I'm regularly travelling from North London to Kew and back, a journey that can take up to an hour and a quarter each way on a gloomy winter's day. Today I did it in around 40 minutes - bliss.
Also, most of these ideas assume that everyone works a convenient 9-5 when there are plenty of buses on the roads. I know from past experience that anyone starting work in the 4/7 slot, or going home in the 7/midnight slot, get a very poor service. That means their cars are still taxed for a communal benefit that they can't reasonably benefit from.