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Cambridge 'road closures' scrapped, but city Lib Dem leader says there's no City Deal congestion strategy

By Ben Comber

Mill Road SlowdownShowdown
Mill Road SlowdownShowdown

Calls for a congestion charge have been reinforced.

Responding to news yesterday that Greater Cambridge City Deal officers have suggested scrapping proposals to introduce Peak-time Congestion Control Points (PCCPs), dubbed ‘road closures’, Lib Dem city council leader Tim Bick has said that the plans have a ‘gaping void where congestion strategy should be’.

In response to over 10,000 consultation responses, three petitions and a protest march, the City Deal looks to scrap PCCPs and move forward with proposals for a Clean Air Zone, workplace parking levy and resident parking zones in the city.

Cllr Bick said: “It’s very good news that the infamous road closure plan is to be finally dropped. Well done to all the campaigners, who, like some of us involved in the City Deal, could see this was a terrible mistake!

“In the wider picture, it’s disappointing that the City Deal again proposes to march forward with a gaping void where a congestion strategy should be. This is something that should have been determined at the very start. The danger is that other measures will either be ineffective or exaggerated in order to cover up for this huge failure of leadership.

“And yet, even now, their top priority is still to rule congestion charging out of consideration – despite all the evidence of its effectiveness and its capacity to transform public transport services as an alternative to car use. Even though they refused to ask people about congestion charging, it tells you something that a surprising number appear to have proposed it nevertheless.

“Yet the prevailing view seems to remain: turn away from the evidence and, whatever you do, don’t ask the public. I continue to believe that people should have a proper say and not be force-fed what suits the City Deal bosses. What a missed opportunity!”

When announcing the plans to scrap the PCCPs, City Deal chair Lewis Herbert said: “Officers advise peak-time ‘road closures’ or control points be ruled out of future plans.

“A city-wide congestion charge for people travelling in, and for residents, is not proposed for very similar reasons.

“Too many individual and business journeys would be unnecessarily affected and it will unduly hurt low income city and South Cambridgeshire residents – and those from further afield – who currently have no option but to travel by car to work in Cambridge, often to jobs involving unsociable hours.”


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