The westward extension of the London Congestion Charge takes effect on Monday (19th February) with the scheme now covering Bayswater, Notting Hill, North and South Kensington, High Street Kensington, Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Belgravia and Pimlico.
Residents within the larger catchment area can register for a 90 per cent discount reducing the cost to a maximum of £4 a week as opposed to the daily charge of £8. To register for the discount residents need to complete an application form available from Transport for London or via the web at www.cclondon.com
The coincide with the extension the charging hours within the zone have been shortened by 30 minutes from 7.00am – 6.30pm to 7.00am – 6.00pm.
According to recent figures issued by Mayor of London Ken Livingstone “the amount of traffic entering central London during charging hours has been cut by around 20%.”
Analysis by Transport for London suggests traffic levels in the western extension area will be reduced by 10-15%.
Councillor Merrick Cockell, Leader Kensington and Chelsea Council has attacked the decision to expand the areas covered by the scheme.
In a letter published last week in The Times and republished on the Council’s website Councillor Cockell said “The extension is going forward despite an overwhelming majority of Londoners saying they don’t want it and despite an abject failure by Transport for London and the Mayor to make a case for it. ”
The letter also calls on the Mayor to “urgently pin-sharp road pricing systems that will target actually congested streets while leaving other routes open.”
Last week the Mayor repeated calls for greater powers to coordinate roadworks in the capital which he says are undermining the impact of the Congestion Charge scheme.