West London's 'Berlin Wall' removed after years of campaigning
After years of campaigning, the Western Extension of the Congestion Charge Zone is now obsolete.
December 24 was the last day that the WEZ operated after the Mayor of London scrapped the scheme. Road markings will be blasted from the streets and signs dismantled over the Christmas holidays.
Gordon Taylor, Chairman of the West London Residents Association said: "The abolition of the extension means the dismantling of the invisible Berlin Wall which has divided communities and hit businesses and freedom to move again without paying the exorbitant tax on drivers. What a great Christmas present for us all.”
65 per cent of the 13,000 people who responded to the third and final consultation wanted the extension scrapped and the daily toll - which is now £10 - will now only affect central London as the zone is stripped back to its original size.
After it was created in February 2007, the WEZ quickly became known as West London’s Berlin Wall - due to the invisible barrier it created between neighbourhoods. Transport for London (TfL) has predicted it will lose around £55 million but critics point-out that the extension failed in its central aim of reducing congestion in west London.
Before the extension was added, a TfL study showed H&F had the most congested roads in London. The figures revealed a mind numbing 7.6 million hours lost in traffic, compared to 6.9 million in neighbouring Kensington & Chelsea. More than three years later, there is no evidence that the roads in the borough have become less congested.
December 24, 2010