Monday, October 30, 2006

After Richmond, Cambridge?

Oh, dear - apparently congestion charges and hikes in parking fees are coming to Cambridge too!
Although I mentioned in my previous post that councils around the UK were looking into this, I wasn't really expecting the bomb to hit that close to home... I guess this must have been what the Sellafield residents felt, after they dismissed talks about nuclear reactors with the usual "they won't do that here, now, would they?"

Obviously, they are making all the right noises that congestion charges and parking fees increases will be part of a "strategic plan" (yep, those were the words) including "improved public transport, viability and overall demand management" (the latter meaning, I'd guess, yet more taxes - now, you go ahead and call me cynic).

Now, let's see: on one side, introduction of congestion charges and raising parking fees - a relative no-brainer, especially with so many firms eager to help our public sector environmental warriors to install cameras, supporting IT infrastructure, various roadside gadgets, collecting fines and all the paraphernalia that comes with it.

On the other side: a long and painful re-assessment of viability needs, yet more roadworks, infusing some sense into Cambridgeshire broke public transport system, increase incentives to firms to have yet more home-based workers, etc. etc.

Which one would you expect the particularly car-hating, hapless Cambridge City Countil to go for?

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