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01 Singapore

The idea

The city-state became the first metropolis in the world to introduce the idea of a congestion charge – a fee for cars entering the central business district – in 1975. Two decades later, it used new technology to create the Electronic Road Pricing system, the first plan which could read number plates and charge drivers as they passed cameras.

Who has copied it?

London, most famously. The city’s former mayor, Ken Livingstone, introduced the charge in 2003, despite large and vocal opposition. It was cannily brought in during a…



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