France mulls London-style traffic tax for city cars

13th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 13, 2006 (AFP) - France is considering slapping a tax on vehicles entering Paris and other major cities to cut pollution and traffic jams, similar to the congestion charge already in effect in London, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said Monday.

PARIS, Nov 13, 2006 (AFP) - France is considering slapping a tax on vehicles entering Paris and other major cities to cut pollution and traffic jams, similar to the congestion charge already in effect in London, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said Monday.

Transport Minister Dominique Perben has been charged with studying the idea as part of a government push for durable development, Villepin told reporters after a ministerial meeting on the issue.

The task force will look at several options, "such as implementing urban tolls or new parking management systems," and will report back by April 2007, Villepin said.

Any changes would be made with an eye to "not penalising those who have no other choice than living far from the city centres where they work," he said.

London introduced a congestion charge on vehicles entering its centre in February 2003.

Cars going into the designated area have to pay a fee of eight pounds (12 euros, 15 dollars) or risk a fine of at least 50 pounds from the array of automated cameras watching the roads.

Municipal authorities say traffic has dropped 15 percent since the charge was brought in, but some shopowners have complained about less business.

Singapore has also introduced a form of city tax for vehicles, and Milan, San Francisco and Stockholm are thinking about following suit.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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