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City pushes for traffic curbs

LONDON BOROUGHS surrounding the City have reacted angrily to Corporation of London plans to introduce congestion charging in the Square Mile.

The boroughs fear that the proposals to reduce through traffic in the City would mean an increase in congestion on local and residential roads, leading to more accidents and higher pollution.

A spokeswoman for Islington council, which borders the City to the north, said it would oppose any such initiative unless it was put forward on a London-wide basis.

The proposals would use the existing 'ring of steel' security cordon around the City as a barrier for vehicles. Security cameras which record registration numbers to warn of possible terrorist activities would be adapted to distinguish between vehicles permitted in the City and those liable to pay a £3 charge.

Corporation of London officials are expected to meet the Government in the next two weeks. They will call for a special dispensation to start charging for access ahead of legislation expected following the Integrated Transport White Paper.

Chairman of the Corporation's planning and transportation committee Stuart Fraser claimed regulation of traffic was needed to safeguard the efficiency of business in the City.

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