TfL has published its latest impact assessment of the London congestion charge.
According to the report, congestion within the zone fell eight by per cent in 2006, compared to the 2002 baseline when the charge was first introduced. However, air quality improvements have gone far further.
In a set of key findings, TfL says that NOx emissions (nitrogen dioxide) have come down by 17 per cent within the congestion charging zone, while particulate emissions (PM10) have fallen by 24 per cent.
The reason for this improvement is cleaner vehicles, claims the report: ‘In the absence of “step” traffic changes, such as those that accompanied the introduction of congestion charging in 2003, the dominant influence on emissions of key air pollutants in recent years has been vehicle technology improvements.’ (pg 57)
‘We welcome this statement,’ said SMMT chief Christopher Macgowan. ‘It is important that policy makers continue to recognise the investment in technologies that are delivering real improvements in exhaust pollutants from cars and commercial vehicles.’