Fleet News

Partners speak out over road-user charging plan

KEY partners in the bid to launch the first congestion charging scheme in the country in London have spoken out against mayor Ken Livingstone's plans. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council have raised concerns that road-user charging will adversely affect the life of Londoners. Their comments come as the boroughs launch a major public consultation which will influence views on charging.

Last week, Livingstone announced the final proposed shape of road-user charges, to be introduced in 2003. A planned charge of £15 for vans and trucks was dropped to £5 - the same price cars will pay.

But, councillor Adrian Fitzgerald, chairman of the royal borough's Highways and Traffic Committee, said: 'Although there has been a promise to divert income into public transport, it will be some time before this is translated into improvements for tubes, buses and trains.'

His comments were echoed by Westminster City Council's chairman of Transportation and Highways Committee, Cllr Louise St John Howe, who said: 'Most people would agree that something needs to be done about congested roads but we are not convinced an extra tax is the answer.'

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