Fleet News

Transport chief warns congestion charges threaten to bring capital 'to its knees'

A LEADING transport chief has criticised the serious lack of detail in Transport for London's proposals for congestion charging.

Charles Cronin, Westminster City Council cabinet member for transportation and infrastructure, said the council was 'extremely concerned' that the TfL consultation document failed to address a number of core issues.

Cronin said: 'Key workers who live inside and outside the proposed zone will be penalised beyond reason by this charge. Mayor Ken Livingstone appears determined to go ahead with his scheme. We have grave concerns that if it goes ahead in its present form, Londoners will be faced with a transport system brought to its knees.'

He said there were no in-depth plans to tackle the anticipated increase in traffic levels on streets just outside the zone, which could lead to rat-running in residential areas and that the council had been given no details on where and when the income from the scheme would be used.

Cronin added that specific traffic management proposals had yet to be received and said the document had not addressed detailed designs for methods of alleviating the impact of the scheme. The council is now calling on Stephen Byers, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, to use his powers to exempt key workers from the charge.

A spokesman for Transport for London said: 'We are working on the traffic management proposals with boroughs, the majority of which have been more than happy to respond to our invitations to take part in traffic management discussions.

'These include a large number of schemes to prevent rat runs and we hope to make a London-wide announcement about them shortly. Income from the scheme has to be spent on improving transport in London for at least 10 years.'

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