London's wonderful Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has great plans for the city.
On top of the crippling 'Congestion charge', Khan will now introduce an 'Ultra-low emission zone', where drivers of older cars will be charged £12,50 per day within Greater London; bringing between £700 Million and £1.5 Billion extra funds, per annum, into the coffers of Transport for London (TFL).
Mr Khan needs to be careful that the cost of living in central London doesn't become prohibitive. I can see a time when people will begin to leave in their droves. London is already far too expensive, driving is nearly impossible (it'll soon be much worse), and all the fun of living in one of the world's most exciting cities, has become a total nightmare. On top of which, street crime and overt drug use is now a genuine concern for almost everyone.
If The City suffers after Brexit, I can see real problems ahead. Businesses will close, high streets will decline (as they have outside London), and inner London could begin to look like a third world country.
I would almost recommend anyone with a high value property, to get out now while there are still people with enough silly money to buy.
In Italy (particularly the north - the Po plain - there are often diesel vehicle bans in cities like Turin and Milan in an effort to improve air quality. In Germany in several cities there's a colour code system according to your emissions and how far into the city you drive depends on the colour of the sticker on your windscreen red, yellow, green etc.. In Austria there's no control as far as I can make out except in Salzburg on bad weather days (rainy days mainly) when only local vehicles are allowed in. In some areas particularly near Graz and Linz when there is a pollution problem a 100 km/h speed limit comes into effect on the nearby autobahns. I don't know much about London as I've only been there a handful of times in connection with my work and then only briefly and the last time was in the 1970s.ReplyDelete
It would be better simply to ban the use of private cars in central London, and make public transport cheaper and more efficient. Also, Black Cabs are very expensive; Sadiq Khan could do something about that too. Otherwise, delivery vehicles are essential, as are certain services. Pricing people out of the market doesn't seem the best way forward.Delete
Parts of central Athens have been taken over by anarchists and druggies, but other areas have been rejuvenated and look like extended neighbourhoods with tavernas and cafeterias. I haven't been into the centre for many years but would love to do so. Now and again I like the change, from small island to vibrant city life.ReplyDelete
I remember London in the 70s. So much to do and see. Safe, fun, in the streets and underground.
Here they have odd and even days for cars. Depends on the last number on your numberplate.
When I lived in London in the late 60's, we travelled everywhere by Black Cabs, and they were reasonably priced. These days I would really have to think twice about taking one. And, as you say, no-one felt threatened in any way. It was all very relaxed. Not today.Delete
Dixon of Dock Green standing on the corner. And if he had to collar a criminal the fellow would probably say: It's a fair cop, guv. The biggest problem in the 60s were hoards of happy girls (Beatles Fans) who were never molested or attacked by knife wielding maniacs. Sometimes there was the occasional over zealous CND marcher or somebody of that sort climbing up Nelson's column to unfurl a banner but generally it was a time of good humoured banter. Very sad it's all gone and we are descending into a third world mentality.Delete
I remember an episode of 'Dixon' where he showed a gang of kids sticking tissue up the money chute on old style phone boxes; when you pressed button A (?) to retrieve your money, nothing came out. The lads returned later, pulled out the tissue, and all the money came out.Delete
The following day just about every phone box in the UK had tissue paper up the spout. Dixon (Jack Warner) vowed never again to show how crimes are committed.
In 1890's London there were approximately 300000 horses making 1000 tons of dung a day. Great if you liked rhubarb or had an allotment.ReplyDelete
Some once called the car "a necessary evil."
I agree with you to get rid of private cars and have cheap or free (Luxembourg) public transport.
It would make a lot of sense, and even the pollution would be minimised.Delete
Soon I will be paying £9 per day to drive home. If Bristol charges the same, followed by all the other towns, it will cost about £60 to make a 30 mile journey- on top of everything else. Never mind, we will all be so much better off after Brexit.ReplyDelete
The problem is, there's no alternative where one can avoid all these crazy money-making taxes.Delete
The drug problem is all over now. We went to see Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre. The show was fantastic. We came out, turned right and there on Firth street opposite the Crighton, was a lady with bare arms and shoulder and no word of a lie, a man in a camel coat and another in a polo shirt were with the lady. She had one arm up in the air with one man sniffing her fore arm and the other doing what looked like cocaine off of her collar bone. Not great on the doorstep of a Disney production with children and parents pouring out of the theatre. My great niece was wide eyed at it all. she is 4. Everything is about making money now, he needs to put some of this money back into the city and in all areas all postal codes.ReplyDelete
Serious drug dealing is done openly these days. In Brighton I've walked past cars parked boot to book with large amounts of drugs and cash changing hands. No-one seems to care; not even the cops.Delete
That is scary, what ever is it like now if it was like that 40 years ago when you were last in the U.KDelete
It is posts like this that make me so glad that I live in the far North of the country away from this awful congestion.ReplyDelete
Big city life is much the same all over. Much better to be in a smaller community, or, like us, way out in the country.Delete
It is the fault of global-warming and those who sop it all up. Brace yourself for another load of it from Poland this weekend.ReplyDelete
Poland has a lot to answer for.Delete
I came to Geneva in 1980 and I always felt it was as safe as houses. Now, with Schengen, anyone and everyone came in. The beggars, the drug dealers and so on. A few years ago I was having lunch with friends when about 10 young men ran up the road. One fell and the next guy jumped up and down on his head, like a football. One ran up to me and said "don't feel sorry for him, he just stabbed the other guy". A drug deal gone wrong at noon. I used to go salsa dancing on a Sunday night and the dealers were openly dealing right next to a police station. In the end I stopped going because going into an underground parking lot at 11 p.m. on my own just didn't do it for me any more!ReplyDelete
I have never seen the advantage of Schengen. I can remember going through Frankfurt airport and being told to go through a different exit because I was a non Schengen person, and feeling rather good about it!Delete
Depending on the boundaries, I can't see why anyone would want to drive in London and so if private cars are priced out of inner London, I don't think it is a bad thing.ReplyDelete
Better and cheaper public transport is what's needed; not pricing people out of the market.Delete