A "GO-SLOW" protest has been held in London in a last-ditch attempt to stop the western extension of the congestion charge zone on Monday.

Campaigners say two-thirds of residents oppose the new boundaries, which will extend the zone west into Kensington, Chelsea, Notting Hill, Bayswater, Brompton, Belgravia and Pimlico.

They claim the £8 charge will damage businesses and cost residents hundreds of pounds a year.

Organised by the West London Residents Association, the protest began at Addison Road, in Kensington, west London.

The convoy of about 50 cars - including a few luxury sports cars and the odd "Chelsea tractor" - then snaked its way along Earls Court Road, which will be the boundary of the new zone.

West London Residents Association spokesman David Tarsh said: "By cordoning off a large residential area the c-charge is creating a ghetto for the privileged, where others have to pay to get in.

"Ghettos are abhorrent to civilised society, they belong in the history books, not in 21st century London."

Mr Tarsh said residents were furious they had been ignored by Mr Livingstone.

"We've had a fantastic turnout today and we've got plenty of attention, I just hope we have the attention of one man, the mayor of London," he said.

"He has ignored us for too long and we will not forget this at the next election."

Transport for London's director of congestion charging Malcolm Murray-Clark said the scheme had been a huge success.

"Traffic in the existing zone has been reduced by some 20% since charging began - preventing the gridlock that would most likely have been a regular feature for the capital," he said.

"But London still has significant congestion problems. Surveys indicate that of all areas adjacent to the zone, congestion is most intense in the west where there are severe delays throughout the working day.

He said traffic levels in the western area would be reduced by 10 to 15% and reduce congestion in the zone by at least 15%.

"The extension to the current zone will bring significant benefits to an area of London which is one of the most heavily congested in the UK," Mr Murray-Clark said.

"Less traffic leads to reduced harmful vehicle emissions, fewer road accidents, faster and more reliable bus journeys and an improved environment - making the extended zone a better place to work, live and visit."

  • The western extension will include: Kensington, North Kensington, South Kensington, Bayswater, Notting Hill, Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Brompton, Belgravia and Pimlico. Park Lane, Grosvenor Place and Vauxhall Bridge Road will remain exempt from the charge, acting as a through way and splitting the zone in two.
  • Who is entitled to a discount: Residents are entitled a 90 per cent discount on the charge. Blue badge holders can apply for a full discount.