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Congestion Charges - Hit Huntingdonshire Commuters


15th October 2002

Jonathan Djanogly this week attacked Alistair Darling MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, for his refusal to take responsibility for commuters' interests in connection with the proposed London congestion charges.

Jonathan Djanogly, Member of Parliament for the Huntingdon Constituency, this week attacked Alistair Darling MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, for his refusal to take responsibility for commuters' interests in connection with the proposed London congestion charges.

Mr Djanogly said:

"It is all very well for Mr Darling to palm off responsibility for London transport to the London Mayor and it could be argued that Londoners, having voted for Mr Livingstone, are now paying the consequences. On the other hand, what about the interests of non-Londoners who commute into London, such as the thousands from my constituency, who are subjected to a new tax of over £1000 per year, with no guarantees as to improved public transport services.

I made the point to Mr Darling that commuters are not 'optional extras' to be discarded by Ken Livingstone at his whim - they make a massive contribution to the London economy and to our country, and it is totally unfair that they should be subjected to this tax."

Hansard - 15 October 2002

Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon): The Secretary of State says that this is a matter for the Mayor alone, but what about all those non-Londonders - the commuters who have to come into London every day - who will be made to suffer? They are not additional optional extras; they are needed in the capital to work and to make this country work. They will be suffering, and that is a matter about which the Secretary of State should be concerned.

Mr Darling: The point that I was making is that, for the most part, responsibility for transport in London is devolved to the Mayor. It is for the Mayor to decide whether he introduces a congestion charge and, if so, in what form. I understand fully the point that the hon. Gentleman makes about people coming in and out of the London, but it is not just a question of congestion charging: other measures designed to alleviate congestion on the streets of London are being taken. We discussed earlier rail improvements, so action is being taken across the piece to improve the situation - but the responsibility for the congestion charging scheme lies with the Mayor as a direct consequence of devolution to London."



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