Trawling through some answers to questions to the the Mayor this morning I came across a real gem regarding the Congestion Charge. The question from LibDem AM Sally Hamwee is typical of the garbled questions that AMs come up with:
How much gross income was generated in 2006/07 from
a) charging for entry to the congestion charge (broken down by the central and western extension congestion charge zones)
b) fining motorists for not paying to enter the congestion charge zone (broken down by the central and western extension congestion charge zones)
Was the income from each directed to specific projects?
The answer by the Mayor is typically disingenuous but even his slippery briefers can’t avoid letting some useful information slip:
It is not possible to breakdown income by any specific zone. The Congestion Charging Scheme is operated as a single scheme and therefore income is reported for the scheme as a whole. There is no record of whether a journey is to or within a specific charged area.
The gross income breakdown for 2006/07 was as follows:
- Charge Income £157.4m
- Enforcement Income £95.0m
This gives a Total Gross Income of £252.4m.
The net income is used on other transport schemes. The provisional proportional allocation of funds was:
- 82% to bus network operations;
- 11% on roads and bridges;
- 4% on road safety; and
- 3% on walking and cycling.
The talk of spending net income is just a straight lie as I have shown here. The interesting bit is the proportion of income from fines. This is £95.0 million, which is almost 38% of the total income, and exceeds the net income figure of £89.1 million stated in TfL’s annual report and accounts. So, without these fines the thing would make a loss every year. This is a shame because the system cost £265 million to set up and made a £58 million loss in its first part year of operation.
Interestingly the situation seems to have worsened over the last year. In 2005/6 fines were at 30% of a £254.1 million revenue (see answer to question here) whereas in 2006/7 they are 38% of a slightly smaller £252.4 million revenue.