Today, Conservative leaders from across Cambridgeshire have written to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership calling for them to publicly declare that the Liberal Democrat and Labour run Greater Cambridge Partnership Board will drop all notions of congestion charging without delay, and that the Board agrees not to contemplate such charging while there are no real reliable and affordable local transport alternatives in place, because to do so could cost hard working residents £3,600 a year via what has been dubbed as a stealth tax on Cambridgeshire residents.
The letter follows a motion at South Cambridgeshire District Council on 22nd February proposed by Cllr Heather Williams (Conservative) opposing the introduction of congestion charging where the Liberal Democrat majority group voted it down. A second motion yesterday (15th March) at Cambridgeshire County Council proposed by Cllr Alan Sharp (Conservative) also opposing the introduction of Congestion Charging at this time was also voted down by the Liberal Democrat / Labour / ‘independent’ coalition.
The Liberal Democrat and Labour Councillors in Cambridgeshire refuse to take congestion charging off the table and are determined to continue with proposals to introduce yet another cost that will burden hard working residents that live beyond the city of Cambridge even further.
Conservatives across Cambridgeshire will continue to fight against this stealth tax and stand up for hard working residents who do not deserve to be financially punished in this way.
Cllr Ryan Fuller, Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council said:
"Thousands of Huntingdonshire residents require access to Cambridge on a daily basis for reasons such as work, education and healthcare. Many of our residents also like to visit Cambridge for leisure, culture and entertainment or to visit family and friends. Whilst parts of our district enjoy good public transport connections to Cambridge, Huntingdonshire is a large primarily rural area with many communities facing limited, or in some cases, no access to public transport, meaning that car ownership is a necessity, not a choice.”
“Conservatives at Huntingdonshire District Council are unanimous in their opposition to these proposals by the Liberal Democrat and Labour led Greater Cambridge Partnership Board. Of course, we support moves to improve public transport and make it easier for people to travel via means other than their car but the introduction of what is effectively a stealth tax on car drivers is not the way to achieve it. Congestion charges such as this unduly penalise the very people who can least afford it; whilst those who can afford to pay will continue to use their cars.”
“It is abhorrent that Huntingdonshire’s Liberal Democrat and ‘independent’ councillors voted to defeat our Conservative motion which would have ruled out the introduction of this additional financial burden on Huntingdonshire’s residents. With people already facing pressures due to rising prices now is not the time to be considering charging people up to £15 a day simply to drive their own cars!”