Did Congestion Charges Affect Traffic Accidents in London?


Congestion Traffic Accidents and the London Charge (Colin P. Green, John. S. Heywood and Maria Navarro, Economics Working Paper Series 2014/015, Lancaster University Management School, Nov. 3, 2014)

Also discussed here: London’s congestion charge increases speed and saves lives (Colin Green, The Conversation, Nov. 3, 2014)

Today we review research into the link, if any, between London’s Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ) introduced in 2003 and the number of traffic accidents in and around the zone. The CCZ has been successful in reducing the volume of vehicles entering the CCZ and increasing their speed as a result of less congestion and increasing the number of public transit buses and bicycles. One might have expected accidents with cyclists and pedestrians to spike. However, research shows that accidents are down by 40% which translates into 45 fewer cases of serious accidents or death. Each increase of the congestion charge by a pound has decreased the number of accidents by 5 per month- and the effect also applies in surrounding areas and during times when there is no charge within the CCZ. As on commentator to the article pointed out, the impact may not be simply economics and that some credit may be due to the improved safety plan for the CCZ which included improved signaling and the simple fact that fewer cars means fewer accidents. The results indicate an unexpected benefit of congestion charging beyond improved air quality, more reliable travel and revenue for improved transit.

conjestion charge less accidents

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click  HERE

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