Below, I've copied an email I received from the administrator of the Cambridge Congestion Charge forum. I haven't had the time to edit it or summarise it for my readers, but if you live in or work in Cambridge, please read this, go fill in the survey and let your councilors know that before they smack us with a charge, they'll need to come up with some solutions. In my eyes, the first changes they should make are: 1. Encourage carpooling by improving routes reserved to buses and cars with two or more people in it; 2. Improve bus service so that it doesn't take 3 times longer to get from A to B on the bus than in your own car (see Ottawa's OC Transpo bus service for an example of a well thought-out plan); 3. Do not include Science Parks in the areas covered, because that's just money grabbing rather than problem-solving and makes the city look like a bunch of greedy idiots.
Without further ado, here's the email... Share this information far and wide!
Firstly may I thank you for registering on the Cambridge Congestion Charge website. Secondly may I take this immediate opportunity to say that this will not be sending out regular emails to you.
The Cambridge City Council has launched its public consultation. This basically seems to consist of an online web questionaire and a series of public roadshows around the Cambridgeshire region. I would urge you to take the online questionaire if you haven't already done so, and visit one of the roadshows as well as contact your local Councillor (easy to use contact details are at the bottom of this email). In the run up to Christmas and New year this important issue may slip your mind and then it may be too late for you to get your point of view across.
As you may know one of the main driving points behind introducing a congestion charge in Cambridge is the investment of a substantial amount of central government money into Cambridge's transport infrastructure. This money has been offered in return for introducing a congestion charge.
The full proposal document which will form the basis of the City councils bid to get the central government money has been written and is available for download from http://www.cambridgecongestioncharge.co.uk/cambridgecongestioncharge/cambridgecongestioncharge.pdf (copy and paste this link if you need to). The document gives insight into the extensive planning that the council has already made and pinpoints the locations of cameras that would catch motorists that don't pay, along with plans for mobile vans operating at random locations. I strongly urge you to read this document as either way it will change your way of life in the near future. It is quite long and you have to read it closely to establish exactly what they want to do (such as make Huntingdon Road a one way street for cars going out of the city) but it really is worth it. If you don't find out about it now and make your views known you may regret it in just a couple of years time.
It also seems that normal "Joe Public" will have to pay a charge of £5 per day at current pricing which doesn't take into account inflationary increases.
Some useful links and information for you:
City Council Road Show Locations (watch out for odd opening times)
- The small hall, Guildhall, Cambridge - December 11 - 3-9pm
- The recreation ground, Histon and Impington - December 12 - 3-9pm
- The dining hall, Chatteris Community College - January 10 - 4-9pm
- King Edward VII Memorial Hall, High Street, Newmarket - January 21 - 3-9pm
- Sawston Village College, Sawston - January 23 - 3-9pm
- Commemoration Hall, Huntingdon - January 24 - 3-9pm
- The Grafton centre, Cambridge - January 26 - 9am-5pm
- The Grafton centre, Cambridge - January 27 - 11am-4pm
- Trumpington park and ride, Cambridge - January 30 - 6.30-8.30am and 5-8pm
- Madingley Road park and ride, Cambridge - January 31 - 6.30-8.30am and 5-8pm
- The Maltings, Ship Lane, Ely - February 5 - 3-9pm
- Haverhill Arts Centre, Haverhill - February 6 - 3-9pm
- The Free Church, Market Hill, St Ives - February 13 - 4-9pm
Link to Contact details for all Cambridge City Councillors including email addresses, postal address and phone numbers: http://www.cambridge.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/about-the-council/councillors/
Please remember to make your view known, especially directly to the council, and please feel free to come back to the cambridgecongestioncharge.co.uk website and continue contributing.
If I can be of any assistance to you regarding this matter or using the website please do not hesitate to ask.
Cambridge Congestion Charge Website Administrator www.cambridgecongestioncharge.co.uk