It's offset a little by the smaller engines and shorter distances, but it still makes getting around much more expensive than in America
Paul, I don't see them as offsets, we have far higher traffic volumes that anywhere in the US. The UK has about 1/5th the overall national traffic volume of the US, but it is occuring in an area 1/3rd the size of Texas, and 65% of the UK traffic occurs within the M25...6200 sq miles!!
In real terms there are somwhere around 17 million vehicles inside the M25 at any one time between 6am and 6pm, and this only drops to an estimated 8 million after 9pm!!
Many people forget that Londons Population is actulally higher than most stated figures of around 8 million.
The London Boroughs combined total population is over 12.9 Million and the M25 population (those living INSIDE the M25) is around 18/19 Million.
I used to live in Waltham Forest, one of the largest boroughs..maybe the largest.. and at that time the population was 2.2 million alone.
Congestion charging in the city has had no effect on traffic at all IMHO, it takes me longer to get somewhere in the city now that ever before.
I live 17.8 miles from the centre, and it used to take me about 1.5 hrs to get to say Liverpool Street/Broadgate from the Office...it now can take up to 2.5 to 3 hours!..all the while wasting fuel and paying the government for the bloody privelege