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Congestion charges for towns scrapped

End of the road for another environmental scheme as project becomes 'too complicated'

A plan to introduce congestion charges for towns across France has been scrapped because the law was becoming 'too complicated'.

The Minister of Ecology Jean-Louis Borloo said the idea had been dropped during discussions of the 'Grenelle 2' project - a package of environmental laws drawn up during the Grenelle de l'environnement of 2007.

The Grenelle 2 is due to be discussed by the cabinet at the end of October.

Mr Borloo said the congestion charge plans were "extremely technical" and had fallen because of "judicial complexities".

Last week Borloo's plan to roll-out the bonus-malus scheme of discounts and taxes to encourage environmentally friendly consumer behaviour was also vetoed by President Sarkozy who said spending power took priority during the current financial downturn.

The bonus-malus is currently used in the vehicle industry to discourage the purchase of 4x4s and reduce the cost of environmental vehicles.

Borloo had wanted to extend the scheme to cover mobile phones, TVs, washing machines and other everyday products.

Congestion charges currently operate in other European capitals including London, Oslo, Rome, Stockholm and Berlin.

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