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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 May, 2005, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Second city toll plan 'an option'
Durham congestion charging
Congestion charging was introduced in Durham City in October 2002
Highways experts say they are looking at the possibility of a second toll road in an historic city as part of measures to ease congestion.

A 2 charge was introduced in Durham City in October 2002 to limit traffic along Saddler Street.

Now a second scheme, for a stretch of the A690, may be considered.

But Durham County Council says such a scheme would be completely dependent on plans for a northern relief road going ahead and could be up to 10 years away.

In October last year, the council reported more than 200,000 people had used the congestion charging system since October 2002.

Balancing act

It said there had been an 85% reduction in traffic and an 11% rise in the number of pedestrians.

The council is currently looking at the feasibility, including possible routes, for a northern relief road to cut traffic through the city.

John McGoldrick from the National Alliance Against Tolls said: "In February the people of Edinburgh decisively showed that they did not want tolls.

"Before Durham go ahead with another toll area, we call on them to let the people decide."

A council spokesman said: "It all depends on the development and construction of this proposed northern relief road.

"Any extension of the congestion charge would be about examining possible mechanisms for encouraging people to use the relief road."

He said they were conscious they needed to be careful about dealing with the issue, and while they wanted to ease congestion they did not want to cut the city centre off to traffic.

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