BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 17 July, 2002, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Livingston's car policy 'flawed'
Kings Cross station
The charges are due to start in February 2003
Plans to charge motorists 5 to drive into central London are "deeply flawed" because of Mayor Ken Livingston's "rushed, defective" traffic policy, a court has heard.

Westminster Council is arguing at the High Court that congestion charges are a breach of residents' human rights.

The scheme, which is due to be introduced next February, faces delays if public transport is not improved sufficiently to cope with the likely increased demand, said Roger Henderson QC.

"Otherwise people will be taken off the roads to nothing," he said.

Public inquiry

Backed by Kennington Association residents group, Westminster argues the scheme is unlawful and likely to increase air pollution and adversely affect the quality of city life.

Its lawyers have accused Mr Livingstone of wrongly failing to carry out a full and efficient consultation before giving the go-ahead to the multi-million pound scheme, which is aimed at making more people use public transport.

Westminster wants Mr Justice Maurice Kay to rule the mayor's decision was flawed and that he should have held a public inquiry.

'Defective'

On Wednesday, Mr Henderson rejected suggestions that it was now too late to hold any further inquiry.

He said the mayor was already committed to a review of the public transport situation in the capital later this year "which may cause the scheme not to go ahead at all by the intended date".

Any practical difficulties in the way of an inquiry flowed from the rushed, defective process which led to the scheme.

Mr Henderson argued that an inquiry could cure the flaws caused by that rush.

Fines

Mr Livingstone and Transport for London (TfL) believe they can defeat the legal challenge and have earmarked 2.3m to cover their fees.

They say the congestion charge will reduce traffic to "summer school holiday levels".

Under the scheme motorists will be charged for driving into central London between 0700 and 1830BST from Monday to Friday.

About 230 cameras will be used to take pictures of number plates, which will then be checked with a central database to see if the fee has been paid.

There will be discounts for residents and exemptions for certain professions.

Anyone who is caught not paying will be fined up to 120.

The case continues.


Click here to go to BBC London Online
Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes