As of February 2007 drivers will have to pay the C-charge in most of Westminster and in parts of Kensington and Chelsea as well. The extension of the congestion charging zone will coincide with a reduction in the time limit for charging from 18.30 to 18.00. Transport for London should realise a profit of between 25 million and 40 million a year as a result of the extension which will be spent on further transport improvements a spokes person said.
However the enlarging of the C-charge zone is an extremely unpopular move, with three out of four of the 60,000 Londoners consulted strongly opposed to the project.
The London Retail Association expressed fears that the hotels, restaurants and shops in the area would be adversely affected by the charge, especially with businesses already suffering in the aftermath of the July bombings.
Paradoxically, the creation of the new zone will cause more congestion in the current C-charge zone when Kensington and Chelsea residents will be able to drive into central London virtually free of charge.