Traffic in London Is Still Out of Control. Now What?
The U.K. capital was a global leader in taming congestion 13 years ago. But the traffic has come back, with a vengeance.
- Feargus O’Sullivan
- Oct 28, 2016
In 2003, the city of London made a bold move in an effort to tame traffic: It instituted a congestion charge, making motorists pay a fee in order to drive into the city core. The law was the first of its kind in a major city, and similar schemes were later adopted in Stockholm, Milan, and other cities.
Today, 13 years later, the U.K. capital is drowning in vehicles: London has the worst road delays in Europe. What happened?
Several things, say transportation experts—and not all of them are bad. In a sense, London’s snarled streets are in part a reflection of its roaring success. It may also be a harbinger of what’s coming for many other cities.
The positive spin on this is that London is now in a great position to provide a blueprint for better managing the future of urban congestion everywhere. But first, let’s take a closer look at what’s going wrong.