Do you have a sense of déjà vu? You remember the Mayor announcing in November 2008 that the Western Extension of the Congestion Charge would go?
This was welcomed with much rejoicing from the traders in Portobello, and other specialist shops, particularly those near the perimeter of the zone. As a local councillor and resident I have seen how difficult it has been for small businesses, and for those on the “outside”.
TfL like the congestion charge as it brings in cash flow – if you write off our thousands of pounds that was spent on implementation of the scheme. Last November, the contractors changed from Capita to IBM – another ideal time for terminating the contract you might have thought, but no residents have had to put up with the teething problems of the new contractors causing yet more time wasting for users.
Now we have the “definitive” consultation, (the previous consultations were just “informal”, in case you wanted to know). This, we have been promised, is the final vote on this subject – no this is not like the Irish referendum where we need to keep voting until the government (or TfL in this case) get the result they want. So this is your last chance. TfL are not making it easy for you – I have heard several complaints about not being able to get hold of leaflets for residents' associations.
TfL think that no-one cares any more about this issue and this is no longer important, so if you want your say on this topic go to the TfL website or alternatively you can phone for a printed copy of the questionnaire by calling TfL on 0844 811 978. Remember to respond by the beginning of August.