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Monday, 15 July, 2002, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Congestion charge 'will split communities'
Kings Cross station
The charges are "another poll tax" say residents
The Mayor of London's plans for congestion charging will divide communities, according to residents living near the zone's boundary.

Kennington Lane, Lambeth, south-east London will form part of the southern boundary of the proposed new charging zone.

Local residents and businesses are worried the boundary will create massive traffic problems on the southern side and force businesses on the northern side to close.

Westminster Council and the Kennington Association are leading a legal challenge against the plans claiming that they were not adequately consulted.


Congestion charging will cause chaos

Nicholas Stylianou, trader

Francis Forest, town centre manager for Kennington, said: "I am very concerned about the effect the charges will have on residents and businesses.

"This boundary will split the community.

"People such as the elderly are worried that people will not visit them if they have to pay to come into the zone."

Nicholas Stylianou, from the Windmill Fish Bar, which is outside the zone, said: "Congestion charging will cause chaos

'Poll tax'

"It's going to affect the number of customers that come to the shop."

Antonio Luis, from the Maderia Patisserie, which is inside the zone, said: "We have the shop and a wholesale business and have customers in London and outside.

"These charges may force us to change the whole business - even relocate.

"It's just another poll tax - a lot of shops will go out of business."

130m raised

Kevin Phillips who has his own framing business in Waterloo said the plans could be detrimental for local street traders.

"This would cost traders 25 a week - this could mean the difference between traders intending to go to work or not."

He believes that the increased costs will simply be passed onto customers.

Transport for London believes the charge will reduce traffic by 10-15% and improve congestion to "summer school holiday levels".

Motorists will be charged if they want to drive into a central zone between 0700 BST to 1830 BST on Monday to Friday, raising up to 130m annually for public transport improvements.


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