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07:10 on Saturday
26 February 2005

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Peterborough tells Londoners: Escape creeping toll menace


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Londoners are being urged to escape the cost and inconvenience of spreading traffic congestion charges in the capital by moving to Peterborough.

Advertisements have been placed in the London Evening Standard urging businesses to relocate to Peterborough following last week’s announcement that London mayor Ken Livingstone wants to impose a major extension to the £5 per day central London congestion charge zone.

London traffic


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 elevated route.

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.

September 2004

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