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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 February 2007, 22:14 GMT
Go-slow protest over road charge
London traffic
The congestion charge zone is due to be expanded on Monday
Hundreds of drivers have taken part in an anti-congestion charge protest in London in a last-ditch attempt to stop the western extension of the zone.

Organised by the West London Residents Association, the go-slow began at Addison Road, in Kensington.

Protesters argue the 8 charge, being introduced from Monday, will damage businesses and cost residents hundreds of pounds a year.

But Transport for London believes congestion will be cut by 15%.

TfL also claims the number of vehicles will be reduced by 10 to 15% once the charge is introduced.

The zone will expand west from central London on Monday to include Kensington and Chelsea.

The protest convoy and march travelled along the Earls Court Road, which will be the boundary of the new zone.

Since the introduction of the charge in 2003, traffic levels have been reduced in the central zone by 20%
TfL spokesman

One resident said: "We're fighting [London Mayor Ken Livingstone]. At least we can show him that we care, even if he doesn't."

Merrick Cockell, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: "We've been protesting for a long time.

"It comes into effect on Monday and we just thought we'd remind [Mr Livingstone] that we are still here. We still object to the extension."

A TfL spokesman said: "The central London congestion charge has worked. Since the introduction of the charge in 2003, traffic levels have been reduced in the central zone by 20%."

He said this meant that each day in 2006 there were almost 70,000 fewer vehicles entering the charging zone compared with the daily figure before charging began.

Mr Livingstone said congestion charging had cut pollution and CO2 levels and improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as increasing the reliability of buses.

Map of zone including the extension




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Londoners protest congestion zone extension



SEE ALSO
Why the zone decided to go west
16 Feb 07 |  London
Borough wants congestion charge
07 Feb 07 |  London

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