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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, 14:41 GMT
Edinburgh rejects congestion plan
Yes leaflet in puddle: Picture by Steven McKenna, Edinburgh
The yes campaign was soundly defeated in the referendum
The residents of Edinburgh have voted against the introduction of congestion charging in the city by a margin of about three to one.

About 290,000 residents were asked if they were in favour of cordons, similar to those in London and under consideration in Bristol.

More than 74% of those who voted rejected the council's plan.

The turnout for the postal ballot was 61.8%. There were 133,678 votes against and 45,965 in favour.

Leader of Edinburgh City Council, Labour Councillor Donald Anderson, said: "The idea is now dead and buried for Edinburgh but we are as committed as ever to further improving our city's transport.

"We have a very ambitious programme of improvement under way, not connected to the congestion charging, which will benefit everyone.

"Regardless of this result, we remain as passionate and committed to ensuring Edinburgh continues to be a successful and dynamic city.

"We knew we were putting this in the hands of the people in Edinburgh and we respect this decision. People have given a very clear vote."

The plan was to charge motorists 2 a day to enter the congestion zone with fines of 60 for those who did not pay up.

Well done residents of Edinburgh for seeing through this all too obvious revenue raising ploy. It's time these councillors were told to stop treating private transport as a cash cow
Martin Butler, Fife

The cordons were to have operated from Monday to Friday with an outer one for the morning rush hour and an inner one in operation until 1830 at night.

The council claimed that the charge would have reduced gridlock and generated money to invest in public transport improvements.

The "yes" lobby claimed congestion charging would mean less traffic, cleaner air and public transport improvements.

The Get Edinburgh Moving campaign said it had been difficult to get people to vote for something which had an immediate cost.

Spokesman David Spaven said: "In five or 10 years time people will understand how important this issue is and will no doubt wish that they had voted another way."

"No" campaigners argued it would damage the economy and push traffic into residential areas of the city.

Edinburgh vote result being announced
The results were revealed after a two-week postal vote

Tina Woolnough, from Edinburgh Communities Against Congestion Charging, said the vote was a victory for common sense.

She said: "I know there were very many people who were uncertain and who were persuaded by our argument that traffic was going to be displaced into residential areas and around schools."

Edinburgh City Council said net revenue from the proposed charge was forecast to be 761m over 20 years and the money would be used to fund transport improvements.

Neighbouring councils had opposed the idea because of the impact on their citizens travelling into the capital.

Mike Rumney, chair of Fife Council's environment and development committee, said: "We have opposed Edinburgh's scheme so far as its not fair but also because the public transport improvements that will help Fifers must be in place before a fair charging scheme is put in place.

"We would be happy to work with our colleagues in Edinburgh to ensure this becomes a reality".

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

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


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