The law of unintended…


The law of unintended…

It was a classic case of the law of unintended consequences. The congestion pricing in London reduced the number of cars so they didn’t park in the city’s parking lots and the revenues when down down down…Hmmm.

I wonder — Could it be that the cost of the parking was a bit too high, and that high pricing (up to $70 a day) might have kept the traffic down. Or perhaps the adding of a few dollars congestion charge was just enough to put some drivers over the top.

So they are letting the free market set the price of parking. Well, to an extent.  They are lowering the pricing considerably (down to 40 cents an hour) if there is parking available.  As the lots fill up, so will the prices go up.

If there are only a few spaces left, the price may actually jump back to $10 an hour. They are installing some fancy technology to track all this and post the prices out front in real time. This is airline pricing. Its all over the shop — You could conceivably have five cars parking next to each other, having come in at different times, that were being charged anywhere from 50c to $10 an hour.

The problem is, according to the Royal Auto Club, how will people know how much is being charged? They won’t until they get there.

My belief is that the law of unintended consequences will kick back in.

People will drive into town and cruise around looking for a city owned parking facility with this plan in place. In doing so, they will create more traffic, the very problem the congestion charge was supposed to alleviate.

Or even better:

When people come to town who normally drive every day, they will note that rather than park in their normal parking garage which is charging at the old rates, they will see the "new" rates on display and park in one of the city owned lots.  That will take away custom from the private lots, unless they opt for the same plan. If they do, parking pricing around London will fall like a rock. Well, at least for a few early birds.

Hat Tip:  Mark Rimmer who says

They institute congestion pricing to
reduce the number of cars in the City’s core, and now they’re going to lower
parking rates to get the cars back.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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