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
 Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 17:00 GMT
School run 'not exempt from charge'
Congestion charge zone
The congestion charge comes in on 17 February
The Mayor of London has told parents that the school run will not be exempt from the congestion charge which is being introduced in February.

Ken Livingstone said parents would have to choose their school "in the light of the reality" of the forthcoming charge.

He added that statistics showed that using public transport to get to school was safer then travelling by car.

Congestion charging, which will see motorists pay a 5 fee to drive into central London, begins on 17 February.

Mass refusal

Mr Livingstone told a press conference at the Greater London Authority (GLA) headquarters, City Hall: "I think almost everybody who drives regularly in London knows when school is out - they have a week or a month off.

"And that is one of our real problems. That is why it is not possible to say that there should be any exemption for people on the school run."

The mayor added that at the age of six he made a two-mile bus ride on his own from Brixton to Streatham.

When he was asked about threats of mass refusal to pay the charge, including reports that workers at the Smithfield meat market, the large majority of whom drive into work, might not pay, he said it was up to employers to decide whether they would pay for staff.

'Economic benefit'

Mr Livingstone said businesses are currently losing at least 2m a week because of traffic gridlock in the city, so if the charge worked it would be a "huge economic benefit to London" as well as an improvement in people's quality of life.

Anyone who is eligible for an exemption from the congestion charge has until 26 January to register if they want to have the 10 fee waived.

According to the GLA, 7,362 residents living inside the congestion zone have so far registered for a 90% discount.

A further 46,414 have registered for blue badges - the disabled exemption - and 220 have registered for an exemption on the grounds that their cars use environmentally friendly fuel.


Click here to go to BBC London Online

BBC London's guide to congestion charging
See also:

20 Jan 03 | England
13 Jan 03 | England
13 Jan 03 | Education
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

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