Origins of the congestion charge

In: Uncategorized

7 Sep 2008

Those of you who attended the Bookshop Barnie at the London School of Economics last Thursday may be interested in a side argument we had on the intellectual origins of London’s traffic congestion charge. Some described it as “state socialist” while I said I thought I remember that Milton Friedman, a free market economics guru, had come up with the idea. It turns out that it is true that some articles attribute to Friedman although according to a journal article (PDF) dug up by Austin Williams on road pricing the origin of the discussion is more complex. In any case it should be clear it is not accurate to describe it as a “socialist” measure.