Capital road charge mooted

A proposal to introduce London-style congestion charging to Athenian streets was put forward at yesterday’s preview of an upcoming meeting of transport experts. The idea, to install a system of some 200 CCTV cameras and charge drivers around 5 euros a day to enter a specific zone of central Athens during peak hours, is being championed by Professor Evangelos Matsoukis of Patras University. He will be promoting the suggestion at the Athens meeting on October 26, which has the aim of building on transport lessons learned during the Olympics. «Electronic tolls would not only limit the use of cars but help the full and effective use of public transport. The money could be used to build transport hubs at gateways to the city,» said Matsoukis while announcing the conference. Drivers would pay the toll by text message, via the Internet or by picking up special prepaid cards at gas stations. All cars driving through the designated area would have their license plate recorded by the cameras and those found not to have paid would be fined.