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Last Updated: Friday, 28 September 2007, 06:55 GMT 07:55 UK
Belfast congestion charges mooted
Traffic is backed up across Belfast (Bedford Street)
Congestion charges could be introduced in Belfast in the future
Congestion charges could be introduced for motorists travelling into Belfast in the future, according to a document prepared by the city council.

Its submission to the assembly's finance department pointed to the success of congestion charging in London and road pricing in Durham.

The council said local authorities should benefit from any revenue.

However, Larne and Lisburn councils told the department they think the idea would be unacceptable to the public.

The Department of Finance is reviewing possible changes to rates.

As part of a public consultation, it asked interested parties what they thought of other ways of generating revenue.

In its submission, Belfast City Council said that with the continuing impact of global warming, road taxes would become increasingly prominent.

In London, all revenue raised by congestion charging must be re-invested back into the city's transport system.

A Transport For London report found congestion levels in the zone are on average 26% lower than in 2002 before the scheme was introduced.

It costs 10 to bring your car into central London on the day, or 8 if you pay ahead.

On Friday, SDLP Mid-Ulster assembly member Patsy McGlone said the proposal to introduce congestion charges in Belfast "was starting the congestion debate at the wrong end".

He said "decentralisation of public-sector jobs was the place to start".

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