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Last Updated: Monday, 17 January, 2005, 17:33 GMT
'Green city' or 'hollow doughnut'
Congestion charge sign
Edinburgh is considering charging similar to London
The City of Edinburgh is about to conduct a referendum on proposals to introduce congestion charging.

Under the plans, the city council wants two cordons, one inside the ring road, the other round the city centre.

A 2 fee would apply from 0700-1830 GMT at the inner cordon and 0700-1000 GMT at the outer boundary on weekdays.

BBC Scotland's news website asked pressure group TRANSform Scotland and the Federation of Small Businesses to give their views on charging.


David Spaven, chairman of transport interest group TRANSform Scotland.

Congestion charging is the sensible way forward because not enough money is being spent on public transport. The plan for the capital is a coherent integrated package for the future prosperity of Edinburgh.

We are basically happy with proposals for the two cordon system as proposed, because a good case has been made.

The outer city cordon will also guarantee that funds go to the surrounding councils of Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian.

About 40% of the money raised will be spent on public transport outside Edinburgh.

In future with cameras you may be able to charge by tracking route, journey-times and pollution.

The plan is not perfect but it's the only show in town and I would urge people to get behind it in February.

Modelling that has been done predicts we will see a 30% reduction in peak-hour traffic so walkers will see the benefits immediately.

There will be less pollution, buses will be more reliable, the air will be cleaner and there will be fewer crashes, so less people injured and killed.

For motorists using the zones, it will be a better place to drive as there will be less congestion.

The 42% of Edinburgh house-holds who have no car will come out best.

The cordons are not a panacea but this is not a time to quibble, the proposal is fundamentally right and will put Edinburgh at the cutting edge of transport policy.

There has been scaremongering by retailers, but this group is not always the most visionary.

Since the 50s and 60s retailers have been objecting to pedestrianisations and traffic calming measures.

The fact is that they are safer and cleaner and people love them and they are good for business.

The time is right to press ahead and see benefits for the whole city economy.

There is all to play for and it is very important that the citizens of Edinburgh consider the balanced debate.

Tim Steward, chairman of East of Scotland Federation of Small Businesses.

We have conducted a survey of our 4,000 members in the East of Scotland and had a response of about 20%, which is a statistically significant as most surveys go.

From our members we found that 76% opposed congestion charging inside and outside of Edinburgh.

We've already seen that retailing in central Edinburgh has lost out massively to Glasgow in terms of quality stores and also to peripheral malls, which offer ease of parking.

Lots of retailers believe the 2 charge will act as yet another disincentive, when you add on parking costs once you have entered the cordon and the risk of 30 fines.

It all adds up to making the city centre unattractive.

The FSB has looked at the small business implications of congestion charging in London.

Of the order of 60% of businesses have said they will have to relocate, 40% are looking at redundancies, in the order of 70% have registered a downturn and about 80% have seen no significant improvement to access and goods services.

There is no indication that charging benefits London.

Our point of view is that the council has failed to address the issue of parking in central Edinburgh.

Options like underground parking as seen in other European cities have not been fully explored - they've dodged the issue and gone for a solution that will hit the city economy.

Radical transport solutions have not been considered.

I believe people will still use cars, but they will go to malls where they can park conviently.

I think what we'll come to realise is the hollowing of the doughnut as small businesses relocate, there will be a negative effect on tourist business on places like the Royal Mile.

Workers too, I believe, will still use their cars, which over the course of a week for a small business with three or four staff - that's an extra 30 or 40 on their wages bill.

You will see an impoverished and denuded city centre.

INNER CORDON ENTRY POINTS
1a. Glenogle Road
2. Brandon Terrace
4. Eyre Place
5. Cornwallis Place
6. Mansfield Place
7. East London Street
8. Leith Walk
10a. Regent Terrace
11. Regent Road
12. Calton Road
13. Canongate
14. Holyrood Road
15. St Leonard's Street
16. Clerk Street
17. Hope Park Crescent
18. Melville Drive
21. Home Street
22. Dundee Street
23a. West Approach Road (Dundee Street access)
23b. West Approach Road (Westfield Road access)
24. Dalry Road
25. Roseburn Terrace
26. Belford Road
28a. Randolph Cliff
30. Deanhaugh Street

OUTER CORDON ENTRY POINTS
1. A199 Edinburgh Road
2. A1 Musselburgh By-pass
3. A6095 Newcraighall Road
4. Whitehill Road
5. A6106 The Wisp
6. A7 Old Dalkeith Road
7. A772 Drum Street
8. Lasswade Road
9a. A701 Burdiehouse Road
9b. Southhouse Broadway
10. A702 Biggar Road
11. Dreghorn Link
12. A70 Lanark Road
13. Baberton Junction
14. A71 Calder Road
14a. Edinburgh Park South Access
15. South Gyle Broadway
16. A8 Glasgow Road
17. A90n Queensferry Road




SEE ALSO:
Livingstone backs city toll plans
17 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Residents to miss road toll vote
14 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Road toll plan given green light
18 Oct 04 |  Scotland


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