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How realistic is the congestion charging plan?

There are mixed views on whether Transport for London will be able to introduce congestion charging succcessfully.

Jack Opiola Intelligent Transport Director, Hyder Consulting.

Can congestion charging in London be delivered by January 2003?

Without an independent programme manager it is dodgy. I do not see an overall systems integration strategy at the moment to ensure cameras, software and retail outlets interface properly. If TfL is not awarding the final contract until December I suspect it is already behind.

Two and a half years is more realistic.

Will congestion charging in London be successful?

Yes, but the diversion rate and operational costs will be higher than projected. The scheme will not raise £200M a year.

Is Transport for London (TfL) doing a good job?

Given that there is no interoperable standard for electronic road pricing they have made the best balanced choice.

Martin Richards Independent congestion charging consultant to the London Assembly.

Can congestion charging in London be delivered by January 2003?

The timetable assumes there will be no need for a public inquiry or no legal challenge.

There are also doubts over TfL's risk management.

Will congestion charging in London be successful?

Yes, recent modelling confirms a 10% to 15% reduction in traffic in the central zone although some people believe the effect will be less.

Is TfL doing a good job?

A 90% discount for residents is a give away. It means the scheme as it stands will be very ineffective if extended to a larger area. TfL has been slow in giving the Greater London Assembly information. Four reports requested so far have been late and some lacked the information the Assembly wanted.

Derek Turner Director, TfL Street Management.

Can congestion charging in London be delivered by January 2003?

We are on schedule. We have made every milestone so far - short listing contractors for the scheme, publishing our transport strategy and the congestion charging scheme order. We do not think integration of the system is a major challenge.

Will congestion charging in London be successful?

Absolutely. The existing scheme can migrate to an electronic scheme relatively easily so we can expand the area and make the charges more flexible. Video cameras are 85% successful and using mobile cameras as well will raise the reading rate to 95%.

Is TfL doing a good job?

We have been very professional. We have created a charging directorate with over 70 people. In the last financial year we have spent £5.6M on the scheme.

Nick Lester Association of London Government.

Can congestion charging in London be delivered by January 2003?

Integration of the system is the big test, as well as whether there is a public inquiry or judicial review.

Will congestion charging in London be successful?

Yes, but there doubts. They may have traded some effectiveness for speed.

Is TfL doing a good job?

It could have involved stakeholders at an early stage.

There is a very strong argument for a single contractor. The decision to manage the scheme in house is very risky because there is little comeback on TfL.

Lynne Featherstone Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson, Greater London Assembly.

Can congestion charging in London be delivered by January 2003?

Will congestion charging in London be successful?

Yes. But it will need to be flexible in time, charge and boundary. An electronic scheme is needed as soon as possible.

Is TfL doing a good job?

It is more professional than at the time of our congestion charging scrutiny committee last year.

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