The corona pandemic leaves its mark in many different ways. This summer, for example, London has raised the congestion tax to get fewer people to take the car into the city. At the same time, the Swedish Public Health Agency and its counterparts in other countries “preach” that public transport should be avoided as far as possible.
It is not easy to be human.
This summer, London has raised the congestion tax from 135 to 175 SEK per day, which is significantly more than other cities such as Stockholm and Gothenburg.
In addition, it costs extra to drive an older car.
Anyone who drives into the city's environmental zone with a car that is five years or older receives a penalty fee of 145 SEK. The total sum for driving into central London can thus be 320 SEK. In addition to this, the period that the congestion tax applies to has also been extended from 6 pm to 10 pm in the evenings. It still takes effect at 7 in the morning. What is also new is that the tax will additionally apply on weekends.
The remarkable thing in my eyes is that this increase has been made despite recommendations to continue to avoid public transport due to the corona pandemic.
Transport for London, which administers the congestion tax, claims that the reason for the change is that traffic has increased during the corona spread. The organization believes that traffic would double if the tax was not raised. Against that background, it is understandable.
Transport for London also says that the increase will be temporary – time will tell if this is actually the case. Why have residents of London been exempted from the discount from 1 August?
Fortunately, some groups do not have to pay. More precisely, everyone who works in health and elderly care as well as people in special risk groups that can be affected by Covid-19.
The question I ask myself is how many cars would we have in Gothenburg and Stockholm if we followed London?
One thing is for sure: The majority of parking attendants can take “staycation” a few months ahead.