Thursday, May 18, 2006

£205 congestion charge inside the M25

Our illustrious Mayor wants to introduce a congestion charge zone covering the entire M25 by 2008, and charge £205 per "high polutting vehicle" per day to enter it. The claim is that it is all about creating "low emission zones".

This is just another example of loony prescriptive insanity from Ken. Not only will it drive businesses out of the London boroughs but it will impact on companies who provide vital transportation services for schools. One coach company in North London is facing ruin due to a £100,000 bill to bring it's coaches in line with the rules. Elaine Scrivens, director of Southgate & Finchley Coaches said,

"At the present time we are in a quandary. We need to update some of the fleet but are unable to go ahead, as, unless we purchase new coaches manufactured in 2006, no other vehicles built before this year will comply....What chance do us coach operators have of surviving this declining industry?"

Even the local Council has voiced serious concerns about the ineffectve and damaging consequences the plans will have,

"The council is concerned that coach operators may find it uneconomic to continue providing school services and this could result in an increase in congestion and pollution associated with the school run if services are withdrawn"

In true style, Ken's Commissariat empire Transport for London have refused to comment about the plans simple stating,

"The consultation on the proposed Low Emission Zone ended on April 24."

In other words - as with most Livingstone "consultations" - tough.

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