Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [15]

Session date: 
September 5, 2001
Question By: 
Meg Hillier
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Ken Livingstone


I think that demonstrates a real detachment from the reality of administering it. I think that sets a huge task for the officers in your Congestion Charging Unit about how on earth you go about determining whether someone is a relative or even maybe not a relative, what about an elderly person that you've befriended? People will start befriending elderly people all over the place. Maybe that is Ken Livingstone's adopt a granny and get off the charge, scheme. I just think that it would be much simpler and easy to introduce very quickly. You could very simply take into account existing boundaries in many local authorities, and I'm not saying that people shouldn't be charged to use their car, just as residents inside would pay a fee, I'm not against some degree of deterrent on car use in central London. There are other deterrents, a financial one if that helps, fine. But I do think that you've got to think about the real needs of the people on the edge and by calling it a buffer zone, it's a way of easing the pressure from the boundary out a little. My vision is to have a much more radical proposal going out as far as the North Circular, but clearly you know we've got to start somewhere. Many of my Labour colleagues are sensible enough to agree with that.

Can you please promise residents of Islington and Hackney and Southwark and Lambeth and other areas that are going to be cut through by the zone that you will seriously consider the buffer zone and not just give us some mealy mouthed sort of half baked solutions?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [15]

Answer for Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [15]

Answered By: 
Ken Livingstone

Well, that's the purpose of the consultation on the scheme order now. And public meetings are coming. I'm sure my opponents are actively encouraging people to come along and make all of these points at those. And at the end of that consultation period then I will undoubtedly make some changes to the scheme. So it's all part of that debate still to be had. But the reality is that at the end of the day I do not myself believe that you can get a blanket exemption on something like a school run, because that has grown so enormous, that it is part of the problem. Part of the objective of this is to discourage people driving their children to school. That's the reality of it.