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The extended congestion charge zone included Portobello Road and Kensington Church Street, two of the capital’s top dealing centres.

The West London area will be CC-free by spring 2010 when legal requirements to usher in the new measure will be completed.

Chris Kleanthous, who with his brother Costas (chairman of the Portobello Antique Dealers’ Association) has run Kleanthous Antiques in Portobello Road, since 1969, told ATG: “We fought hard for this. The charge was an unjust penalty on the trade.”

He said the charge had already damaged Portobello Road and cited it as a factor in some 40 traders (not all antiques dealers) ceasing trading.

He added: “The move is very sensible and a welcome relief, with the general downturn of business the charge was an added exasperation.”

Mr Kleanthous’s relief was echoed by silver specialist Robin Silverman, head of B. Silverman and chairman of the Kensington Church Street Antiques Dealers’ Association.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted, this is a great step forward in helping the trade in our area. A lot of people have not come in because of the charge which in difficult times made trading even more difficult.”

The only regret voiced by dealers was that they would have to wait until 2010 before the charge is finished.

By David Moss