The Impact of the London Congestion Charging Scheme on the Generalised Cost of Car Commuters to the City of London from a Value of Travel Time Savings Perspective

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, planning - service rationalisation, land use - impacts, ridership - drivers, policy - congestion, economics - pricing, economics - value of time, mode - bus, mode - car


Value of time, User charges, Travel time, Motor vehicle operators, Modal shift, London (England), Journey time, Generalized costs, Economic impacts, Drivers, Congestion pricing, Commuters, Case studies, Bus usage, Bus travel, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel


This paper shows that the impacts of the London congestion charging scheme should not be analysed from the standard approach to value of travel time savings. This will invariably lead to the mistaken conclusion that drivers who value their travel time savings below the 5 British pounds congestion charge will be regarded as losers from the scheme. The use of a simple expression of generalised costs leads to different conclusions. First, a motorist who continues to drive but values the time savings of the scheme less than 5 British pounds can still gain from the scheme, if the generalised cost post-charging is lower than the generalised cost pre-charging. Second, a motorist who switches to the bus can still gain from the scheme. Since the bus travel time post-charging will typically be lower than the bus travel time pre-charging, it is possible that the generalised cost of a trip by car pre-charging will be higher than the generalised cost of a trip by bus post-charging, even after taking into consideration the inconvenience of switching.


Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X