A majority of people opposed the plans for a Cambridge congestion charge to fund public transport improvements, it has been confirmed..
Some 58 per cent of respondents to the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Making Connections public consultation opposed the plans for a Sustainable Travel Zone, with 49 per cent of respondents “strongly” opposed.
The results of the Cambridge congestion charge have been announced
However, just over a third (34 per cent) backed the congestion charge proposals, with 13 per cent saying they supported the zone and 21 per cent “strongly” supporting it.
The GCP has already indicated that the scheme as originally proposed “will need to change” but the results do not end the prospect of a congestion charge. Instead, consideration will now be given to how the scheme could be altered.
More than 24,000 people responded to the consultation, which proposed measures to transform the bus service funded by a congestion charge.
The charge would force car drivers to pay £5 to drive in Cambridge — even if they live in the city – with £10 charges for vans and a £50 fee for lorries. The fees would operate from 7am-7pm, Monday to Friday, raising money for a bus system that would operate for longer and with cheap, flat fares.
The consultation findings, which were finally published today (Friday, May 26) and showed opposition increased with respondents’ age from 35 to 64, with 55 to 64-year-olds most likely to oppose it.
Those who lived outside of Cambridge were also more likely to oppose the zone than those who lived in the city.
Meanwhile, support for the proposals was highest among the youngest and the oldest respondents.
Among those who opposed the zone, about half did support the GCP’s vision for better buses. Overall, more than 70 per cent of respondents were in favour of the proposed future transport network.
The reasons for supporting or opposing the zone were numerous.
But those who supported the proposals were keen to get more frequent bus services, be able to cycle more safely and were positive towards the idea of a charge to tackle climate change and reduce congestion.
Those who opposed felt proposed exemptions to the charges did not go far enough, and that the charge would be unfair, particularly on those travelling to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. There were also concerns about the impact the charge would have on jobs.