Fleet News

London charging scheme gets green light

FLEETS will have to implement schemes for paying central London congestion charges after the High Court ruled in favour of Ken Livingstone's controversial scheme, paving the way for its launch next February.

Westminster Council, backed by the Kennington Association, had tried to stall the project by claiming the human rights of residents living around the ring of cameras had been breached, and that proper environmental assessments had not taken place.

However, in his ruling, Mr Justice Maurice Kay said their case relied on 'unconvincing' evidence and added: 'It may be a more cautious mayor would have sought to underwrite his judgement by resort to, for example, a public inquiry, but this mayor has decided lawfully against that course.'

Westminster Council (WCC) has also been ordered to pay costs, estimated at up to £1 million. Moreover, the judge ruled out the chance of appeal on nearly all counts except the environmental impact assessment, stating he was 'less than convinced that WCC has a realistic chance of success'.

Stewart Whyte, director of the Association of Car Fleet Operators: 'The legality is not the issue. What really matters is how it is implemented and the success of achieving its aim, which is to make London a better place for Londoners, and to improve public transport.

  • London Mayor Ken Livingston has admitted that the charging scheme could either be dropped if it does not work, or the daily charge could rise. In a newspaper interview on Monday he said that if the scheme does not reduce congestion it would either be because the fee is not high enough or because there is a fundamental flaw. He added that if the scheme is flawed, then it would most likely be abolished.
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