Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A vote for Bristolians on a congestion charge proposal - once we have one!!

'Opponents of congestion charges are calling for the people of Bristol to be given a chance to vote on the issue – on local elections day, June 4.' reports the local paper's website today.

I'm very strongly in favour of Bristolians voting on a proposal for large, additional investment in public transport to be followed by the introduction of a congestion charge which will then raise further money for investment in public transport. However, we need a specific proposal showing the details first so that we all know what we are voting on! On this occasion I agree with Cllr Mark Bradshaw's good sense view (extract below) rejecting voting this summer therefore.

"But we are not simply going to reject the possibility given the demand for better, more integrated public transport and the need for a huge injection of funding to pay for this.

"Though the West of England Partnership is exploring various models for congestion charging, which could be part of this bid if it occurs, it is a long way from any firm proposals.

Its close minded to reject all and any proposals that involve congestion charging - and clear political opportunism in the months running up to local and European elections. Solving Bristol's serious transport problems must mean keeping options open and giving serious consideration to proposals once the details are available - form a view then!!

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