The House of Commons Commission have proposed a charge of £15 to climb Big Ben (or the Clock Tower if we’re going to be strictly correct) from July this year.
Although it’s currently free to wear yourself out climbing 334 steps, the £15 charge will cover costs, according to Commons Speaker John Bercow, rather than make a profit.
What other tourist attractions could we see for £15 though? On the London Eye we could almost get a whole adult a standard ticket at £17.01 whereas Madame Tussauds is a price match for Big Ben at £15, albeit only if you visit after 5pm. Five adults could climb the Monument at £3.00 each though you get short-changed on the number of steps involved as the Monument only has 311 and again, nearly a whole adult can get into the Tower of London at £17.00.
Perhaps Mr Bercow’s horror at the £30,000 bill for plants is an influencing factor in the decision to introduce charges elsewhere — after all, it would probably be hard to justify £15 to see 12 fig trees.
See our discussion on Big Ben pedantry and counter-pedantry here.