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Shuls fear impact of new congestion charges on cheder attendance

Issue raised in meeting with Mayor of London’s office

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The impact on synagogues of extending London’s congestion charge to Sundays has been raised with the Mayor of London’s office. 

The charge for driving into the centre of the capital was raised from £11.50 to £15 in June and extended to evenings and weekends. 

But synagogues in the area fear that it could lead to a reduction in cheder attendance when classes resume this month. 

One of the largest Progressive communities, the West London Synagogue, is situated in the heart of the capital. 

The issue was raised this week at a meeting organised by the London Jewish Forum with Deputy Mayor in charge of transport, Heidi Alexander. 

Also discussed was school transport ahead of the start of the new term next week. 

Transport for London will be laying on 230 extra buses to cope with the increased demand for transport post-lockdown, including for the 653, 683 and 688 routes that serve JFS. 

School buses will be able to operate at full capacity with 60 passengers, rather than at half for other services. Children over the age of 11 are required to wear masks. 

Edwin Shuker, vice-president of the Board of Deputies, said, “We are pleased that the latest information suggests that pupils who travel more than two miles to their place of education will be granted free travel. “ 

Ms Alexander said,  “We will continue to do all we can to urge government to do the right thing and drop their demand to suspend free travel for certain groups of young people under 18 after the October half-term.” 

 

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