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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 December, 2003, 06:46 GMT
Opposition to congestion charge
London traffic
London's congestion charging has cut traffic numbers
Congestion charging is strongly opposed by motorists outside London, according to a survey.

The 5 daily charge has cut the traffic in central London since it was introduced in February.

Just over 40% of Londoners questioned were in favour of the charge, with 31% against.

But a poll by ICM for BBC's Newsnight found 53% of people living outside the city were against a similar scheme in their area.

The survey found just 22% of non-Londoners were in favour of the scheme.

In total, 1,004 people were interviewed, and 49 English unitary authorities and metropolitan district councils were also surveyed.

There are now 60,000 fewer car journeys a day in central London
Traffic delays inside the congestion zone are down 30%
Journey times have fallen by 14%.
The charge is set to raise 68m for public transport in 2003
It is hoped in 2005 the scheme will raise 100m
Only one unnamed authority said it was actively considering a congestion charging scheme and 34 said they would watch how other schemes developed.

Seven were totally opposed to the idea, while another seven said they were unlikely to give it serious consideration within the next few years, Newsnight found.

There were 16 authorities which believed that congestion charges would be extensively used in cities and town centres nationwide in the next 10 years.

But 26 authorities thought it would only spread to a few more places in that time.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone' s Transport for London (TfL), has begun a six-week consultation with politicians on extending the zone westwards within London.

A 10-week public consultation will follow before Mr Livingstone decides if he puts it in his manifesto for next June's mayoral elections.

A TfL spokesman said: "There is now more support than opposition for congestion charging in London.

"A reversal of this pattern where congestion charging is not in force and its benefits are therefore not apparent is perhaps what you would expect - and echoes a similar pattern of views in London before the charge was introduced."

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