Mayor Boris Johnson is considering scrapping the city's oft-maligned Congestion Charge. The pay-to-drive strategy was instituted back in 2003 as a way of reducing traffic in the busy British capital, but it has met with fierce opposition from motorists and some politicians. Shortly after taking office, Johnson got rid of the latest extension which instituted the C-Charge in western parts of the city, but the Congestion Charge Zone is still alive and well in Central London. While it may be effective in reducing traffic (though that's often debated as well), the charge of £8 to enter the CCZ, along with fines of between £60 and £180 for non-payment seems to be enough to keep shoppers out of London during the holiday season, so it has been temporarily suspended. To help boost the city's ailing economy, Johnson is extending the downtime through January 1.
When asked if he would consider ridding the city of the C-Charge completely, Johnson didn't immediately discount the idea, saying that he'd "brood on it" for a while. While it's obvious that London has a serious congestion problem, in these troubled economic times, financial problems might take priority. Stay tuned.