Saturday, February 17, 2007

Livingstone's Law of Unintended Consequences

Kensington and Chelsea will be very quiet on Monday as the Congestion Zone is extended to those areas. People who used to drive to the excellent shops in the area will no longer do so. The number of customers will go down by anything up to 20%. Some businesses will be unable to continue trading and go bust. Thanks Ken.

Residents in Kensignton & Chelsea will get a 90% discount on their congestion charge. But one side effect of this is they are now free to drive into the Centre of London for no extra charge. So the centre will become even more congested. Thanks Ken.

And in case you haven't seen the 18 Doughty Street advert on Ken Livingstone, it's HERE. And if you'd like to vote on our next Ad campaign, which campaigns against the selling of arms to regimes which appalling human rights records, click HERE.

Do come back in a couple of hours for my take on the Peter Hitchens v Peter Hitchens debate raging over at Guido's. I've talked to the real Peter Hitchens to get his side of the story...


Andrew Ian Dodge said...

It will kill off what is left of the small business in Pimlico stone dead that is for sure. As far as I can tell Ken seems to think the inner-cities of Detroit are what he is aiming for.

jailhouselawyer said...

And what about the UK's appalling human rights record? It only happens to be the worst in Europe with Italy coming a poor second. How about cleaning up your own house first?

Anonymous said...

Oh I see Jailhouse these are London locals doing the commentating ,don't they have any human rights ,

Anonymous said...

Grow up. The congestion charge is a success. There are countries in Latin America that think Ken is a genius.

He will soon be leader of the Labour Party as well. Nobody likes a sore loser, Iain.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand you are saying that more cars driving into central london is a problem because of 'congestion'.

On the other hand you are saying that fewer cars driving around is a bad thing because it means less business.

Which do you want ? You are wanting to have the penny and the bun - at least criticise consistently.

Anonymous said...

Or the people could go to the shops of Kensington and Chelsea using, er, public tranpsort like the rest of us.

p.s. you may not have realised, but the majority of people in this land don't live in London, and couldn't give a monkey's what goes on there.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

This seems to sum up London under Labour - A tax haven - I now have to pay £10 to drive past some very wealthy (non-domicile for tax purposes) people's houses in West London.

Whilst they can drive past my house for free.

Why does socialist Britain allow wealthy people to treat London like a tax haven?
All this crap about it being good for the economy. Me not paying tax would be equally good for the economy. I only live here.

The Labour party - the friend of International tax avoiding tight trash.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The real free market solution would be to let traffic find its own level. There are places I avoid at certain times because there are traffic jams.

A lot of the traffic congestion in London has been caused by local councils blocking off so called 'rat runs' so traffic is forced on to fewer and fewer roads. Add to that new sets of traffic lights with shorter phasing and it is not surprising that traffic speeds in parts of London are no faster than a century ago.

There are some interesting inovations on the Continent (particularly in Holland) whereby all traffic signs, and even the distiction between pavements and roads are abolished. This concept known as 'shared space' is being pioneered by Kensington and Chelsea Council.

zeno said...


Please be so good as to enlighten me: which one is the real Peter Hitchens?

The Hitch said...

Iain, when you refer to " the real Peter Hitchens" do you mean me or the other one?

Anonymous said...

I am planning to visit this summer several large British towns over the summer. Liverpool Manchester Newcastle Birmingham and Leicester. As my wife is Mauritian and she have heard plenty about, but never seen these places before.

If I have to concern myself with respective congestion charges and worry about large fines if I somehow cock up. I would not be bothering to go anywhere in the UK. We would simply go to another country and spend the time and cash somewhere else.

My freedom of mobility and quality of life is being slowly but systematically destroyed in Britain. Socialists will not be content untill we are all (except them) riding bikes or pulling our own hand carts. That is the dangerous and polically inspired ,revolutionary socialist, TRUTH.

Anonymous said...

Iain, who is the REAL Peter Hitchens?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I live in Scotland. Do I give a toss about Kensington and Chelsea? No I don't. Nor do I think your "Hate Ken" campaign is going to do anything other than make you look a lot less temperate than you really are. Get him on issues. Do the homework. This is just lazy.

Stop this. You are being silly.

Guido Fawkes said...

I think we should distinguish between Peter Hitchens the Mail on Sunday writer and Peter Hitchens the blog writer.

The latter should be referred to colloquially as "the Hitch".

Old BE said...

Why do the commenters who don't care about London post on a thread about London then?

This situation cannot be an un-intended consequence because anyone with more than a peanut-sized brain could see that including residential areas would encourage people in those areas to drive, saving themselves 90% on the central London charge. So people who are wealthy enough to live in K&C get charged less than those living in poorer equally central areas.

Is Livingstone aspiring to the Soviet era system with special lanes for Party members?

Anonymous said...

Wrinkled Weasel lives in Scotland, so apparently an issue of huge import to Londoners is a non-issue and should be ignored on your blog.

I this isn't a prima facae case for getting Scots Westminster MPs off our English backs, I don't know what is.

unothordox behaviour said...

Iain is quite right, the Kenchestion charge is a cock-up. He installed a system that costs £120m per year to run (unlike Singapore/Stockholm at tenth of the price or less), it doesn't take into account time of day (unlike S+S), and it has a ridiculous and easy-to-incur fines set-up (unlike etc).

Chelsea and Kensington is very quiet during the day and survives on boutique people shopping in boutique shops. So if I want to buy paint from farrow and ball, it'll be £8 entry fee plus £4 per hour parking. And I could get a £100 fine from both Ken and the Wardens.

If anybody thinks this system (which is set to be torn out and replaced in spring 2009, wasting a huge amount of money) is in any way progressive, an example of joined up government or likely to be copied by any other authority on the planet you are very wrong.

What's more, in July 2005 Ken went over to the East End - which has the worst congestion on the planet - and told them he would never install a congestion charge over there.This is what's know as gerrymandering.

Incidentally a fixed-penalty fine for shop lifting is £80. For putting a wheel inside the zone and forgetting to pay it is £100. This tell you the old left are alive and well in this government.

Anonymous said...


You are connected and relativey bareable considering you're a Tory.

If you have ideas for London and want to make a difference then step foward and help your party out - heaven knows they need it. I think you would make a great candidate and given your obvious distaste for Ken's policies/face you must have some ideas.

If not, stop this drivel. Has enterprise in central London collapsed since the congstion charge was introduced? Clearly not, and neither will it in Kensington and Chelsea. As the introduction reduces charges for people living in that area, it will probably turn out to be fairly popular for those who live there. No one else really cares.

But I mean it: put yourself forward. It would be interesting.

Mostly Ordinary said...
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Wrinkled Weasel said...

Dear Ed and Sugarplum.

I get irritated and grumpy about people who think that London is the centre of the universe and that Ken Livingstone is the Antichrist's nastier brother.

As for being part of the case against devolution, I don't expect to be summoned to a Commons Committee just yet.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter what happens to businesses in London. The important point is to get the working class off the roads.

Then important leftoids (e.g. John Prescott) can enjoy going for a spin and tut-tut as they watch the lower orders shoot each other.

Anonymous said...

According to the latest figures, congestion is now a whooping 8% less than when it was first introduced. Oh joy. And let's not go into how this is supposed to be good for the environment and all. Ken wanted a revenue stream that was independent of central government pursestrings and he got it.