A Cambridge pro-vice-chancellor expressed his frustration at the plans' failureChris Sampson / Wikimedia Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

The controversial university-backed congestion charge has been scrapped following a council meeting.

The plans had been watered down following widespread criticism, but were dropped altogether at a meeting of the Cambridge Greater Partnership (GCP), reports BBC Cambridgeshire.

Professor Andy Neely, a Cambridge pro-vice-chancellor, expressed his continuing support for the charge and frustration at its public opposition. “It’s a shame the politics have got in the way,” he said, reports the Independent.

The scheme would have included a charge of £5 per day for cars in a proposed Sustainable Travel Zone. The most recent proposals, though, had reduced the period when the charge applies to the peak times of 07:00-10:00 and 15:00-18:00.

The new proposals also allowed for 50 free travel days, but were described by Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, as “unworkable.”

These new plans were tabled after a consultation found that 70% of people supported improved bus services but 58% opposed a congestion charge.

After a vocal campaign against the charge, the Liberal Democrats and Labour, who control the local councils, continued to oppose the new plans. Criticisms levelled at the charge included its cost at a time of rising prices and its disproportionate effect on those who live on the peripheries of Cambridge.

At the GCP board meeting, a Liberal Democrat councillor expressed his frustrations at the proposals being dropped. Brian Milnes said he was “hugely disappointed” by fellow councillors who had “changed their allegiance,” said the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporting Service.


Mountain View

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The University had supported the congestion charge. When it was announced, Professor David Cardwell, pro-vice-chancellor for strategy and planning, said: “This new package moves us towards much-needed action to transform the transport system we have in Cambridge.”

Professor Andy Neely, pro-vice-chancellor for enterprise and business relations, said when the charge was scrapped: “I think it’s clear there’s not political consensus at this particular point in time.”

“It’s a shame the politics have got in the way,” he continued.