Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

London MEPs Demand Answers Over Congestion Charge

Press Release - September 19th 2002

Conservative MEPs for London - Dr Charles Tannock & Theresa Villiers - are demanding answers from the European Commission as to the legal status of the proposed congestion charge and whether a proper environmental impact study is required to fully establish the consequences of such a scheme.

Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels Theresa Villiers said, "In February 2003, the Mayor of London is due to introduce the controversial congestion charge which will apply a fixed 5 daily fee per road vehicle entering central London. We are concerned that one of the effects of this charge will be to divert traffic which currently crosses central London around the periphery, leading to increased local levels of pollution in London's suburban areas."

Theresa Villiers continued, "We have written a formal parliamentary question to the European Commission demanding to know the legal status of this scheme and whether an environmental impact study is required, if the UK is not to breach its obligations."

Dr Charles Tannock added, "The poll tax on wheels - as we call the congestion charge - will prove to be a massive own goal for Ken Livingstone. Nevertheless, I believe it will cause immense disruption for Londoners, which is why we are trying to stop it via the European Commission before it gets off the ground and we have to pick-up the pieces."