The advertisements, stretching across the entire width of pages in the
Evening Standard on Friday (13 August) and Monday (16 August), form
part of the Positively Peterborough promotional campaign that is
managed by Greater Peterborough Investment Agency (GPIA).
Agency chief executive Gloria Milne
said: “The announcement of an expansion in the congestion charge zone
provided a gift-wrapped opportunity for us to promote Peterborough’s
advantages as a business location with a great quality of life.”
Under a heading that reads ‘London
taking its Toll?’, the advertisement includes a sketch of a
businessman sitting in a car with £1 coins representing the wheels and
steering wheel to signify the £5 daily congestion charge. The text
extols Peterborough’s fast and efficient road system, its
business-friendly environment and its superior lifestyle benefits.
Meanwhile, more than 30,000 London
residents have signed a petition opposing an extension to the
congestion charging zone, which would cover around eight square miles
and stretch from Shepherd’s Bush in the west to Tower Bridge in the
east. While final boundaries are still subject to public consultation,
the northern perimeter could extend to Harrow Road or the A40 Westway
Major business organisations fear the
extension plan would blight trade and London’s 33 boroughs have joined
forces to call for a rethink.
Transport for London admits that
extending the congestion zone in late 2006 will actually encourage
more cars to travel in central London because 70,000 cars and vans are
registered to residents in the extension area, compared to 32,000 in
the existing central area. More drivers will therefore qualify for a
90 per cent discount on the charge, allowing them to drive into the
centre for 50p per day.