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'CONGESTION CHARGING DAYS NUMBERED'

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Any future road user-pricing scheme should come with a guarantee that London's congestion charge is scrapped. That ...
Any future road user-pricing scheme should come with a guarantee that London's congestion charge is scrapped. That is the commitment Conservatives on the London Assembly are calling transport secretary Alistair Darling to make, on the day he announces plans to begin road-pricing trials within two years.

The Conservatives are sceptical that Mr Darling's road pricing scheme can work effectively and say there are still far too many unanswered questions about how it will operate. But if the government pushes ahead with its proposals then they must lead to an end to the congestion charge.

Conservative congestion charging spokesman Angie Bray said:

'The case for road-user pricing is still far from clear. But one thing that is crystal clear is that if the government pushes ahead with a national scheme of road-user pricing then the congestion charge should be dismantled immediately. With a national system in place there is no justification for a separate charge for London. In effect, Mr Darling's call for road-user pricing signals the death knell for the congestion charge. It also proves the short-sightedness of Ken Livingstone's congestion scheme. He spent hundreds of millions implementing a scheme that could be defunct within years.'

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