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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 08:58 GMT
Borough wants congestion charge
Congestion charge zone
Traffic in Greenwich town centre is described as a nightmare
A form of congestion charging may be brought in for a London borough which has complained of heavy traffic.

Greenwich Council in south-east London has told mayor Ken Livingstone that something needs to be done about congestion in the town centre.

The mayor said no scheme would proceed unless it was backed by local people.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesman said it would be a "one-off" measure and not an expansion of the current congestion charge zone.

He said the group was working with Greenwich Council to "explore the feasibility of a range of options to cut traffic growth and deter unnecessary journeys into the borough".

We don't want to do it unless people want it locally
London mayor Ken Livingstone

He said traffic surveys must be completed before TfL would be in a position to know what the options were for Greenwich.

Mr Livingstone said: "Greenwich Council came to me months ago and said the traffic around Greenwich town centre was a nightmare, and could we look at it."

He said a decision could be made by the end of spring, but added: "We don't want to do it unless people want it locally."

Increase emissions

He said residents were being asked about their travel patterns and if the scheme looked viable, a wider consultation would be launched.

But John McGoldrick of the national alliance against tolls said this was not the answer.

He said: "More so-called congestion charges will just shunt the traffic round, increase vehicle emissions and harm local businesses.

"Money should be sent on improvements to roads and public transport, not on collecting toll taxes."

The current congestion charge applies to an area in central London. Motorists are charged 8 to drive within the zone, which is being expanded westwards on 19 February.

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