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Wednesday, 3 July, 2002, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Residents challenge congestion charges
Kings Cross station
The charges are due to start in february 2003
Two people have launched a human rights challenge against London Mayor Ken Livingstone and his plans for congestion charges in the city.

Cathy Preece and Gareth Adamson have been granted permission to join Westminster Council in its attempt to block the proposals.

From February motorists will be charged 5 per day to travel within central London.

Ms Preece lives in Kennington Lane, Lambeth, south-east London, and Mr Adamson at Cricketers Court, which runs off Kennington Lane.

Health concerns

Kennington Lane forms part of London's inner ring road between Elephant and Castle and Vauxhall Bridge Road.

The inner ring road forms the boundary within which congestion charges will apply.

Lawyers for Ms Preece and Mr Adamson are expected to argue the scheme will lead to a traffic increase on the inner ring road, which will not itself be affected by charges.

This, they say, will adversely affect the local environment and local property values, causing a wide-scale breach of human rights.

Residents particularly fear the ill-effects on health and well-being from a rise in air and noise pollution.

In the connected action, Westminster's legal team is asking the court to overrule the Mayor's plan without first causing an environmental impact assessment (EIA) to be produced, or holding a public inquiry into how charging will be introduced and operated.

230 cameras

Mr Livingstone hopes the charge will cut congestion by up to 15% and raise at least 130m per year.

Shadow transport secretary Theresa May said the scheme was a "sort of stealth tax, trying to price the motorist off the road."

Under the scheme, drivers will be charged 5 on weekdays to enter central London between 0700 and 1830.

Motorists can leave and enter the zone as often as they like for the one-off daily charge.

The area will be policed by 230 cameras which read car registration plates, which will be automatically checked with a central database to see if the daily fee has been paid.

Tickets can be bought up to 2200 on the day of travel, and in advance for chosen dates.

Those who do not pay will be fined up to 120.

The joint application for judicial review is due to start on 15 July.


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See also:

10 Jul 01 | UK Politics
23 Mar 01 | UK Politics
28 Jul 00 | UK
26 Jul 00 | UK Politics
20 Jul 00 | UK Politics
20 Jul 00 | UK Politics
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