WESTERN EXTENSION CAMPAIGN
SCRAPPING THE EXTORTION ZONE
Mayor Boris Johnson listened to London and scrapped the Congestion Charge Western Extension in December 2010. This was a major victory for the organisations who actively campaigned against this charge such as the West London Residents Association.
We recommended you support the removal of the Western Extension of the London Congestion Zone). The reasons were simple:
It did not result in any reduction in traffic congestion.
It did not provide any environmental benefits whatsoever.
Despite forecasts by the previous Mayor of substantial reductions in traffic congestion, these simply did not arise with congestion remaining much as it was. In addition the revenue it raised to subsidise public transport was very small (75% of the fees paid got consumed by operation of the scheme). Neither did measured air quality improve while many businesses were damaged by the scheme. The initial consultation document issued by Transport for London was grossly misleading. It was full of truths and evasions. The scheme clearly did not meet its specified objectives.
This page contains details of our campaign to scrap the Western Extension of the London Congestion Charge (or "Tax" as it should be called). The Western Extension of the London Congestion Charge Zone was introduced in February 2007 despite overwhelming public opposition in the previous public consultation exercise.
In July 2008, recently elected Mayor Boris Johnson announced that there was to be a fresh consultation on the Western Extension of the London Congestion Charge. This was a promise in his Mayoral election manifesto. This is what he said in a press release issued at that time:
“The previous Mayor made the decision to introduce the western extension in the face of overwhelming opposition. Unlike my predecessor, I am going into this with an open mind and this will be a genuine consultation. It is high time that politicians listened to the people whom they represent and I am proud to keep the pledge made during my election campaign to hold a further consultation. Londoners can be assured that, whether they stand for or against, this time their opinions will be respected and we will abide by the results.
The western extension is a massive issue for those that live and work in the west of our city and the consultation is likely to elicit strong views. This is not a referendum, so it won't be limited to a 'do you or don't you want to keep it?’
Yes, there will be the option to scrap it, but there will also be other options including keeping it and changing certain aspects of it, like whether it should operate all day. But this will be an opportunity for everyone with experience of the extension to tell me whether they want to see it removed, improved or if they are simply unmoved.”
On the 1st September 2008 the consultation was launched. Note that we co-operated with the West London Residents Association on this campaign who were the most active organisers of opposition to the Western Extension for several years.
On the 27th November 2008 the Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced that he was planning to scrap the Western Extension of the London Congestion Charge by 2010 after formal public consultation. There was a further consultation on this matter as part of the consultation on the Mayors Transport Strategy in 2010 and a final statutory consultation on it in May 2010 (and on other changes to the Congestion Charge scheme).
The Mayor published his final decision on this matter on the 20th October 2010.