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Monday, 8 July, 2002, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Residents protest at road charges
Demonstration against congestion charging
Labour MP, Kate Hoey (centre) with local residents
Hundreds of demonstrators blocked rush-hour traffic on Monday to protest at plans to introduce congestion charging in central London.

Kennington Cross in south London was brought to a standstill by residents angered at the siting of the boundary for the charges.

The protesters are upset that the 5 charging plans could seriously damage the quality of life of residents on the borders of the scheme.

The new charges are due to be introduced in February 2003.

Click here to see the congestion charges boundary map

Around 400 people took part in the demonstration, which was held on part of the newly-appointed inner London ring road.

They say there will be an increase in traffic in the area as drivers seek alternative routes to avoid paying the charges.


Blocking the road in this way will do nothing to reduce congestion

Derek Turner - Transport for London
Mark Rodgers, one of the protest organisers, said: We are not against congestion charging in itself but we don't think Ken Livingstone has really thought this through properly.

"The way the scheme has been planned will throw a lot of extra traffic on to certain areas, such as Kennington.

"Mothers taking young children to school will be obliged to pay 5 while others in the area will have to contend with many more cars as people try to avoid the congestion-charging areas."

Legal fight

Pensioner Doreen Holsworth, who lives on one of the roads which make up the border, said: "We already have lorries day and night.

"I can't open any doors or windows for fresh air due to the existing pollution and the boundary will only make things worse."

But Derek Turner, Transport for London's street management managing director, criticised the demonstration.

He said: "Blocking the road in this way will do nothing to reduce congestion and will only cause unnecessary delay for drivers."

The protest comes just a week before Westminster Council's judicial review against charges is heard.

The Kennington Association has also launched a legal challenge to the plans.


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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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