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Thursday, October 27, 2016

The transport Committee of the Duma supported the idea of a congestion charge in towns

The transport Committee of the state Duma recommended to adopt in the first reading a bill allowing local authorities to introduce a paid entry for cars on the territory entrusted to them. Specialists of the Ministry of transport at the time, came up with a very streamlined name for the enclaves congestion charge: “the special organization of road traffic”. Paid entry to the territory of such a reservation may be introduced by decision of the local authority”.

photo: Alex geldings

Recall that this bill was born in the bowels of the Ministry of transport in 2014. It was then that the Moscow authorities after the introduction of “vydelenku” on the capital’s roads has initiated a total expansion of paid Parking and close to town officials, “experts” vengeance began to rant about the wonderful experience of London and tiny Milan through the introduction of fees for entry to certain areas of the city. It was then, only by pure “coincidence”, the press, someone started to “throw” some results of the survey of Muscovites, by which it appeared that the citizens almost unanimously support the introduction of a congestion charge in Moscow.

Here on this background, the Ministry of transport (only in time)! he then produced a bill which was to give legitimacy to the introduction of congestion even in the center of the capital, at least in the limits MKAD.

However, the reaction of the media and the public on the prospect of a congestion charge in the city were actively negative. And the fall of the economy in 2015, led to the fact that traffic in the capital fell sharply — primarily because more than a million machines “office plankton” stopped every morning to enter the limits of the MKAD from the Moscow region, and in the evening to go back. In other words, the transport problem of Moscow if not resolved the crisis, then at least lost their sharpness.

And now, when from congestion charge in the capital fervently denied even its mayor Sergei Sobyanin, someone got it into his head to revive the almost “dead” theme. The explanation here suggests only one thing: many deputies of the current convocation of the state Duma already deeply to spit, what nonsense vote — still remained in it less than a month to spend.

Advocates of congestion charge in mega cities usually refer to the experience of London or Milan. With the Northern Italian city all clear. There is a paid entry on weekdays only in the historic part of town (by area, it is almost equal to our Boulevard ring). The only European city, comparable in size with Moscow, where there is a paid entry (and then only in its Central part), London. Paid entry organized there about 13 years ago. Today to get on the car in the “paid” area of London costs about £ 10 — about 800 rubles. For reference: the statutory minimum wage in England is now, in terms of our money, about 600 rubles per hour.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

The paradox is that the introduction of the congestion charge in London did not change anything. To pass, though not quickly, the city could then and now. The main transport problem of London — not in traffic and in Parking lots. And throughout the city. And when he introduced the congestion charge in its center, the city authorities (as well as in Moscow, by the way) promised that this measure will solve the problem of Parking. But all to no avail. This will confirm anyone who has visited London.

In other words, to lead London as a successful example of application of the congestion charge is unlikely. On the contrary, London can safely assume that the most vivid illustration of the fact that with the introduction of fees for entry and Parking nothing in the road traffic of the metropolis has not fundamentally changed and car owners actually have to pay for what was once free.

It will be so in the case of the introduction of the congestion charge in Moscow. Those who are forced to use the machine for trips around town, will continue to do so, but for the money. The difference is only that in the budget of Moscow will flow a new stream of money from the wallets of car owners, in addition to the paid Parking and transport tax (one of the highest in Russia), as well as all duties, and excises, laid in every liter of gasoline sold in the capital.

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