LondonNet News Headlines
12/02/02
Bond Surrenders To Toll
- West End actress drops case against congestion charging

SAMANTHA BOND has abandoned her legal challenge to London Mayor Ken Livingstone's traffic congestion charge. The actress pays the UKP5 daily toll when travelling to her current job performing Lady Macbeth in Edward Hall's production in the West End.

The case against congestion charging had been backed by solicitors Class Law and made by the 'Smithfield martyrs' as well as Bond. They argued that the charge discriminated against low-paid workers such as traders and restaurant and theatre staff who depend upon their car to work unsociable hours. Bond and the traders marched on Mayor Livingstone's offices when the scheme came into force February 17.

But only a tenth of the money necessary for court was collected and many of the protesters have succumbed to paying the toll in the face of mounting penalties and the possibility of having their cars impounded. Livingstone denies that the forthcoming review of the congestion charge was planned long before Bond and the Smithfield traders aired their grievances. "They never had a legal case," says the Mayor.




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