Westminster agrees deal with TfL

Westminster City Council is to drop its PR campaign against congestion charging after agreeing a deal with Transport for London.

PRWeek can reveal that Westminster - which earlier this year made an unsuccessful bid to challenge the congestion charging scheme in the High Court - will cease to run PR campaigns opposing the scheme before it launches in February.

In return TfL will meet its own legal costs for the High Court case saving Westminster between £500,000 and £1m.

Westminster comms head Alex Aiken would not comment on the deal but did say that Westminster's PR campaign against congestion charging could re-ignite in February.

'If the scheme goes wrong we will be as vigorous as we were before the judicial review in putting forward the concerns of businesses and residents,' he said.

A TfL spokesman said: 'We are glad to have resolved this matter.'

From 17 February 2003 vehicles will be charged £5 to drive into central London between 7am and 6:30pm from Mondays to Fridays.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has pledged to scrap the scheme if it fails to ease congestion.

It is hoped that the scheme will raise £130m per year for public transport.

A £15m ad campaign is set to launch this autumn on reassuring the public that the charges can achieve the goal of easing congestion.

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