Government congestion charge plans falter
07 May 2008
Labour's defeats in last week's local elections have set back the Government's plans for more c-charge zones.
Boris Johnson's win over Ken Livingstone for the role of London Mayor has already meant that the planned changes to that city's congestion charge scheduled for October, including a £25 fee for high-polluting vehicles and free entry for sub-121g/km cars, will now not happen. Instead the charge is expected to stick at £8 for all cars.
The Government has also been dealt a second blow, this time in Manchester where the Labour's Roger Jones, chairman of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority, was ousted by a candidate dedicated to stopping a Manchester c-charge.
It was expected that Manchester would be named as the first city outside London to introduce a congestion charge, but this now looks unlikely. Jones was unseated by the Community Action Party's candidate Richard Houlton.
Speculation is increasing that the unpopularity of congestion charging in cities in the local elections could see the Government change or even abandon its plans to roll out the schemes across the UK, giving fleets a welcome break from the potentially increasing admin burden they bring.