Congestion charging – touted recently by Mayor Len Brown as a possible solution to our traffic woes – has been successfully implemented in many cities around the world. Launched in February 2003, London’s scheme is one of the largest globally. A low emission zone was also implemented in February 2008 to identify high-polluting commercial fleet vehicles. Siemens, which works with Transport for London to develop the traffic monitoring equipment, reports that over five years this has resulted in 21 per cent less four-wheeled traffic in the inner-city charging zone – and cut air pollution by 30 per cent. All net revenue (£148 million in 2009-10) is channelled into further improving transport in the English capital. IBM designed a similar road-charge system for Stockholm with laser, camera and systems technology that automatically identifies and charges varying rates depending on the time of day. After its trial, the tech company reports traffic was down 25 percent overall, and public transport schedules were revamped to deal with lower congestion. Inner-city retailers experienced a six per cent jump in business. The scheme was formally adopted in 2007.