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CONGESTION CHARGING - WESTMINSTER SEEKS LEGAL ADVICE

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In response to Mayor Livingstone's ...
In response to Mayor Livingstone's announcementon congestion

charging Westminster City Council leader Simon Milton stated:

'We are very disappointed that so little has changed since the scheme was

first proposed. We still believe this scheme is premature and will damage

central London. The mayor seems determined to introduce it before

significant improvements to public transport have been delivered.

'Westminster City Council is reviewing the detail of the mayor's scheme, and

is considering all its options including seeking legal advice as to whether

there is scope for a judicial review, but only as a last resort.

'We warned the mayor that his scheme will not reduce congestion, but that it

will divide communities around the boundary zones, such as those around

Vauxhall Bridge Road and Marylebone Road. The scheme is also technically

flawed, yet he has gone ahead regardless of these substantial concerns. The

mayor has confirmed that he has studied the Brett report commissioned by the

city council, the only independent analysis of the mayor's scheme. We are

therefore disappointed that he clearly has not agreed with the alternative

approach put forward.

'We are particularly concerned about his decision not to hold a public

inquiry into this highly controversial scheme and we will also consider whether that

decision in itself is one to be judicially reviewed.

'The mayor also appeared to indicate at a recent mayor's question time that

he had agreed a contract for the scheme last December, before the consultation

period had closed. If this was the case we can only conclude that he had already

reached a decision to proceed with the scheme before consultation closed.'

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