having just moved, I'm now living just outside the congestion charge zone but I think it is absolute genius. There is no necessity to use a car if you live in inner London, it is just laziness and arrogance. Anyone that can afford all the other costs inherent in owning/running a car can pay £5 for the pleasure of driving through an overly polluted/gongested city.
There are concerns that this could affect local businesses:
Merrick Cockell, the leader of Kensington & Chelsea council, said the charge could be catastrophic for the area's proliferation of delicatessens, butchers, art shops and design boutiques. 'In five years, we won't have that mix of shopping, which is one of the reasons why people want to live in Kensington and Chelsea.'
Excuse me, these boutiques and delicatessen charge vast sums of money for their produce. I really doubt that anyone using these shops that are too lazy to walk to them in the first place are going find it difficult paying the £5 when they're off to buy some exorbitantly priced clothes from a Chelsea boutique.
In my opinion, the charge should be relative to the size of the car so that all those ignorant bastards who drive 4 by 4's in London, which is absolutely unnecessary, should pay ten times the cost of people driving Smart cars.