Congestion charge would save lives in Ireland, former mayor of London insists

Ken Livingstone was the mayor when the levy was introduced there in 2003, to reduce the number of cars in the area.

Congestion charge would save lives in Ireland, former mayor of London insists

Air pollution and related deaths would decrease in Dublin if a congestion charge was introduced, according to a former mayor of London.

Ken Livingstone was the mayor when the levy was introduced there in 2003, to reduce the number of cars in the area.

A new report for the Department of Transport recommends a similar charge in Dublin city centre in the coming years.

Mr Livingstone says the levy would save lives - as it did in London.

Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone
Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone

"It worked perfectly from day one. We just took the system as it worked in Singapore, put it in in London and, immediately, the number of cars coming into central London went down by 20%.

A lot of people just switched from driving their car to public transport and one of the benefits of that was our air pollution in central London went down by 10 or 12%.

Head of Communications with Dublin Chamber Graeme McQueen says if the public could rely on the bus network, they'd be more inclined to leave the car at home.

"The southside of the city, particular the south-west of the city is really badly served by public transport so we do need to look at underground options for them, that would be probably light rail.

"We also need to vastly improve the bus network. It has to get better, we need more bus priority in the city.

"That in itself will take cars off the road because if people have that good bus network, they will use it," he said.

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