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Despite the size of London much of the main tourist attraction is focused on a relatively small region on the north bank of the Thames Within a short distance of each other are Westminster Abbey the London Eye Buckingham Palace West End Trafalgar square and Covent Garden As well as these tourist attractions are the financial and business sectors based in the City This therefore makes Central London a very congested area and difficult to travel in It has been estimated that London loses between 2-4 million every week in terms of lost time caused by congestion and because of this something radical needed to be done To solve the problem of congestion in Central London the Mayor of London Ken Livingston introduced a congestion charge pay scheme on February 17th 2003 The total budget to implement the scheme is 200 million and covers 8 square miles3 It works by a network of camera sites capturing those entering and exiting the Central London zone There are approximately 500 CCTV-type cameras which are all congestion charge related The camera reads the number plate of the vehicle and is stored on a computer system and matched against a database of those who have registry to pay This scheme requires drivers to pay 5 per day if they wish to continue driving in Central London during the schemes hours of operation between 7am and 630pm Monday to Friday4 All vehicles driving across the 5 charge zone will have to pay either by phone internet or retail outlet This ensures that those using valuable and congested road space make a financial contribution which is re-invested into transport for London Not only does this clear up the roads for those who are using a car making journey times quicker and more reliable but it encourages other modes of transportation London has numerous modes of public transportation including a huge bus network trains trams and one of the worlds largest tube
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