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Wednesday, 23 October, 2002, 18:46 GMT 19:46 UK
'Brain drain' fears over traffic charge
Traffic
Traffic charges are designed to reduce queues
Hospitals and schools could face a "brain drain" if plans to introduce congestion charges go ahead, an MP has warned.

Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, fears key workers will not be able to afford the 5 toll to drive into central London.

Motorists will have to pay the charge from February 2003 under plans put forward by London's mayor Ken Livingstone.

Ms Hoey told the Commons Transport Select Committee on Wednesday the plans will force many key workers to quit their jobs.

'Public transport'

Earlier Ms Hoey told BBC London: "I think it's definitely going to affect all the public services within inner-city areas.

"Many of the people who we attract to work in our inner cities can't afford to live in the area.

"They do travel distances and for some of them it is just not possible to have a suitable journey by public transport."

The select committee also heard from the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and Transport for London which will administer the charge.

Mr Livingstone told MPs that if congestion is not cut by the 5 charge he will consider raising it to 6.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC London's Barbara Serra
"With teacher recruitment already a problem, schools within the congestion zone will be hit hard by the charge"

Click here to go to BBC London Online

BBC London's guide to congestion charging
See also:

23 Sep 02 | England
26 Feb 02 | UK
25 Oct 01 | England
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