LondonNet News Headlines
23/05/02
London to Go it Alone on Road-Pricing
- Byers backs off national congestion charging as Ken aims to extend capital scheme

LONDON looks likely to be the only place in Britain to take up road-pricing after Transport Secretary Stephen Byers decided to try to portray himself as a pro-car minister.

"It would be a fundamental mistake to ignore the fact that 80 per cent of journeys are taken by people in their cars," Byers said. "That has got to be reflected in a realistic ten-year strategy. I'm not in the business of punishing people because they choose their cars."

Byers's statement came in the wake of reaction to the publication of his department's ten-year transport plan, a plan which was castigated by a House of Commons committee. Byers' aides have now decided to pin the blame for the plan on former Transport Secretary John Prescott, who was widely perceived to be anti-car.

Byers and Prime Minister Tony Blair are keen to win back motorists and consequently have decided to block and road pricing schemes.

Meanwhile, London Mayor Ken Livingstone could extend his own congestion charging plans to include the whole of Kensington and Chelsea.





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